“Open Access” to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.
Open Access (OA) has the potential to maximize research investments, increase the exposure and use of published research, facilitate the ability to conduct research across available literature, and enhance the overall advancement of scholarship. Research funding agencies, academic institutions, researchers and scientists, teachers, students, and members of the general public are supporting a move towards Open Access in increasing numbers every year. Open Access Week is a key opportunity for all members of the community to take action to keep this momentum moving forward.
Get involved. Participating in Open Access Week can be as simple or involved as you like. It can also be a chance to let your imagination have full rein and come up with something more ambitious, wacky, fun.
Some students in ESF 200 edited and contributed to Wikipedia, one of the quintessential OA resources that many people utilize. When you have time, look at entries on:
and many more.
For libraries, providing access to information for our users is one of our most important responsibilities. Typically libraries subscribe to expensive journal packages from publishers with little “wiggle room” in the prices. Journals are especially important (and expensive) in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.
New models have been emerging over the past decade where authors and some publishers make journal article freely available to users. This model is called open access. There are many different pricing models for open access, because “open” does not mean “free”.
International Open Access Week is the last week in October. This year from October 21-27, ESF celebrated Open Access Week by highlighting some of the exemplary work our students and faculty do to promote open access. Students were invited to discuss their contributions to open access through editing Wikipedia pages that were in need of additional information and verification. They also mentioned some useful open access resources such as the Directory of Open Access Journals.
The second event hosted at Moon Library was about faculty contributions to open access. ESF faculty Diane Kiernan is writing an open access textbook for her class. She talked about her personal reasons for wanting to help students afford college and make her work easily accessible. The textbook will be available through SUNY Open Textbooks. Dr. Sadie Ryan talked about the importance of publishing journal articles in open access journals such as PLoS (Public Library of Science). She mentioned that she can’t always find a place for her work since it is so multi-disciplinary and also that she wants more people to be able to find and read her work.
The library wants to thank these people for helping us celebrate and start the conversation about the importance of open access on our campus.