International Open Access Week is October 23-29, 2017, and seeks to raise awareness of open access (OA) practices in research institutions and college campuses the world over. It’s a call to action for authors, librarians, faculty, promotion and tenure committees, administrators, publishers, and institutions of higher learning to embrace openness as a means to engage and make timely and needed scholarship available to everyone.
Why the need for OA? Why should researchers and faculty seek to publish in OA publications? The simple answer is to access relevant research. Researchers write to advance their knowledge fields and their careers. When they publish their work in non-OA publications, they sign away their rights to publishers, ceding their copyright and control of their work. Publishers in turn profit by selling their scholarship back to colleges and universities through costly bundled subscription journal databases. That scholarship is now behind paywalls, inaccessible except to subscribing institutions. The trend towards open access is slowly gaining traction, but more is needed.
How might one start implementing OA at your institution? The SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) website has helpful resources for faculty authors and researchers interested in OA, including a document titled, What Universities and Administrators can do to promote Open Access. Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, and one of the leading voice in the Open Access movement, wrote about this subject and made it freely available (and updated regularly) on the web for anyone to read. Albertsons Library supports OA and encourage the greater campus community to engage with us to become involved with open access. ScholarWorks can help researchers understand their publishing rights and can help make works freely available within the restrictions of existing copyright agreements.
Amber Sherman & Memo Cordova