ISSMGE has been advocating for open access technical material for many years as the wide availability of technical information can improve the quality of professional services, the education of geotechnical engineers, promote research advancements, and impact the society at a global scale. To date, ISSMGE has strongly encouraged the availability of open-access proceedings for conferences under its Auspices and this has led to a significant growth in open-access papers in the geotechnical engineering field. In recent years, ISSMGE has been leading the geotechnical profession in open-access, in the following main ways:
- ISSMGE has developed an Online Library that makes available open access conference papers. The online library currently includes 17,088 papers from a total of 72 conference proceedings, including all conferences of the International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering series published since 1936. In 2022 alone, these papers were downloaded from the ISSMGE Online Library 294,000 times.
- To further support open-access, ISSMGE developed in 2019 the Conference Paper Review Platform (CPRP), a platform that facilitates the review of abstracts and papers for conferences. The CPRP is available to everyone at no cost, as long as the papers are released in open access through the ISSMGE online library. Since its launch in 2019, the CPRP has been used by 11 conferences including several ongoing conferences.
- ISSMGE's journal, the International Journal of Geoengineering Case Histories, is a diamond open-access publication, i.e., all papers are published in the journal at no cost to the authors or the readers. In addition, data associated with the case histories are also accompanied by the papers in open access and are available in a geographic database. The average journal paper download for 2022, was 628 demonstrating the impact of the journal on the profession.
The Board of ISSMGE has decided that open access publishing for all ISSMGE conferences will be from now on required. The Board believes that adequate support and tools are provided by ISSMGE and/or other publishers that open access publishing for all ISSMGE conferences should no longer be strongly encouraged, but required. Thus, all ISSMGE-sponsored conference organizers are expected to make available the proceedings of their papers through open access and the ISSMGE online library.
In addition to this new policy, ISSMGE plans to continue to support the profession in making scientific information widely available. To that end, ISSMGE is establishing a new Board-level committee ISSMGE Committee on Publications. The committee will be responsible to maintain momentum in open-access, and support the publications of ISSMGE such as the International Journal of Geoengineering Case Histories journal, the Bulletin, and other publications. ISSMGE Board Member Prof. Dimitrios Zekkos has been appointed to oversee continued progress in that direction.
The President of ISSMGE