Many Norwegian universities today have their own open access repositories. The University of Bergen has BORA (shared with HiB and NHH, the University of Oslo has DUO, NTNU uses DIVA – and there exists a search engine to search though all of them (I’d never heard of it before though..): Nora. While this is good, the large majority of the work produced are never published in these repositories. Vox Publica reports that only 33 of 9868 peer-reviewed articles produced in 2006 are available!
One reason is that they are all based on an opt-in model. It’s therefore interesting that Harvard University decided that all scholarly publications by employees at the university must be made available online in an open access repository. The proposal uses the opt-out model instead, where all articles must be submitted to the repository and scholars who don’t wish their work to be openly available must apply for a waiver. I would love Norwegian universities to follow suit! NTNU has already taken a small step in the right direction, by deciding that all master’s and phd theses will follow the opt-out model.
In the future, open access might lower the barrier between academic publications and the “informal web”. Maybe blog comments on academic publications one day will be a common phenomena?