Tackling the climate crisis requires rapidly exchanging knowledge across geographic, economic, and disciplinary boundaries. That’s why the theme for Open Access Week 2022 is ‘Open for climate justice’. To mark this, we’re talking to researchers who’ve published climate research open access with Springer Nature to find out more about their work and why they feel open access is so vital for tackling climate change.
In this blog we talk to Céline Bellard, ecologist, researcher at the CNRS in France.
Climate justice, in my view, means not only considering the environmental impact of climate change but also the societal dimension and how this climate and environmental crisis can lead to more inequality.
My work addresses the impact of climate change on biodiversity, with a particular focus on island ecosystems. As island ecosystems are particularly affected by climate change (extreme weather events, sea level rise and average temperature increase), they are the first to be affected by this climate and environmental crisis. My research does not contribute directly to climate justice as it takes an environmental approach to the issue. However, understanding how species and ecosystems will respond to climate change and studying their vulnerability is a first step in anticipating the resilience of ecosystems and the loss of ecosystem services due to anthropogenic pressures, such as pollination, regulation, water purification, etc. Research into the future of the services provided by biodiversity allows us to better determine the impact on society and to implement conservation and adaptation measures to reduce the impact and the inequalities that may result.
Open access allows greater visibility of published research and results to a larger number of researchers around the world. My work focuses on the impact of climate change on a global scale. By publishing open access, I hope to make the results of these studies available to researchers in different countries, but also to policy makers and public authorities who might be interested in the results of these studies for planning adaptation measures to global change.
Open access publication allows greater visibility of research and facilitates sharing of knowledge and methods, which is essential, especially when working in conservation biology where managers and policy makers do not always have access to scientific publications.
One of the main benefits of open access is that it provides access to scientific data and knowledge to society as a whole. Sharing information on a global scale is one of the first steps in addressing the climate crisis and better preparing for the impacts of global change.
Since starting my PhD in 2010, I have witnessed the development of open access publishing for different journals, and different platforms (hal, biorXiv, dryad). Open access publications of both scientific results and data have led to a considerable expansion of databases on biodiversity. The French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), where I currently work, asks all its employees to provide an OA copy of articles published on particular platforms (hal) so that they can be included in the annual evaluations, which also shows the importance of sharing publications for scientific institutions.
One of the purposes of my research is to contribute to international synthesis reports such as IPCC or IPBES in order to better inform governments about the state of knowledge on the impacts of global change.
Open access to journals, especially for researchers who do not have the financial means to pay for open access, is essential to enable equitable dissemination of research on a global scale and to maximise the societal impact of scientific output.
I always recommend publishing articles in open access, either in journals if the financial means allow, or on platforms (biorXiv or hal) to improve visibility and facilitate the dissemination of research results.
Céline Bellard is an ecologist, researcher at the CNRS in France. She aims to understand the predicted effects of climate and biological invasions at University Paris Saclay, by linking large scale patterns and community ecology on islands, through a variety of modelling tools including network analyses.