Open Access Week

open-access-week_usVan Wylen Library is participating in Open Access Week, which runs from October 19-23. Previously just a national day of action, the week is now an international “opportunity to broaden awareness and understanding of open access issues and express support for free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research,” according to the movement’s website, http://www.openaccessweek.org/.

Proponents of Open Access believe that scholarly research, particularly research that has been publicly funded, should be freely available online. Currently, many scholarly articles–the type of articles you use to write your research papers–are only available by subscription. If you’ve ever tried to access one of Hope’s databases while you’re off campus, you’ve noticed that the library website has prompted you to enter your 1Hope username and password. That’s because the library has paid a subscription fee to the journal so students can have access to it. Once you graduate, though, you lose your access to this research. These costly subscriptions also limit what else the library can do with its budget.

Open access is a complicated issue and Van Wylen Library is getting involved in a number of different ways:

  • The Library Committee is studying open access so that it can better understand the issues and make recommendations to faculty and the library.
  • Hope subscribes to two Open Access databases, BioMed Central and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and will help pay for the author’s fees that are often associated with publishing in Open Access journals, if faculty choose to publish there.
  • President Bultman signed an open letter from over 57 Presidents of liberal arts colleges supporting the Federal Research Public Access Act (S. 1373). The FRPAA would be a major step forward in ensuring equitable online access to research literature that is paid for by taxpayers. The federal government funds over $60 billion in research annually. Research supported by the National Institutes of Health, which accounts for approximately one-third of federally funded research, produces an estimated 80,000 peer-reviewed journal articles each year, according to the letter.
  • There are two displays with information about Open Access located on the first floor by the Cup and Chaucer and by the circulation desk.

— BJS

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