Today is Open Access Day

When information is open access (OA), it is, simply, available for free.  There are no barriers to you or to anyone accessing it, reading it, downloading it, or printing it.  Neither you nor your library needs to pay for access to OA materials.  There are thousands of OA journals in many academic disciplines, and well as countless OA materials in subject repositories or institutional repositories.  Both authors and researchers benefit from OA publishing.  Authors are able to  share their research faster, easier and more effectively; researchers are able to access information faster, easier and more effectively.

Today, Tuesday, Rocktober 14, is Open Access Day.  Founded by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Students for Free Culture and the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the Day aims to spread awareness of OA through a series events held around the world.  Events will be broadcast live over the Web starting at 6:00pm CST.  The Open Access Day web site includes a schedule of events, list of participants, and resources for spreading the OA word.

Those behind Open Access Day invite you to participate in a synchroblogging competition on why OA matters to you.  Post answers on your blog TODAY, Rocktober 14, to the following questions:

  • Why does Open Access matter to you?
  • How did you first become aware of it?
  • Why should scientific and medical research be an open-access resource for the world?
  • What do you do to support Open Access, and what can others do?

There are prizes.

Crown Library’s answers?

OA matters because it provides the Dominican community quick and easy access to free scholarly information.  I’m not sure when we all became aware of it; maybe with the start of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) about 5-6 years ago?  The 3rd question kinda answers itself: it’s scientific and medical research.  The public needs it to make informed decisions about their own health and wellness.  Not to mention our tax dollars fund a lot of the research.  See the NIH Public Access Policy for more on that.  Crown Library promotes the use of DOAJ, PLoS and other OA repositories in instruction classes and class pages.  We are planning for an institutional repository, and an education/outreach program to go with it.  Faculty, be sure to come to the faculty seminar on Tuesday, Rocktober 28, to learn about how retaining your rights and publishing in OA models can increase the impact of your research.  LIS 748 students, see you soon.  Let’s jump start conversations at Dominican.

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