This week (October 24-30) marks the fifth annual Open Access Week, sponsored by The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). It will be celebrated in a number of ways worldwide.
The UT Libraries and Open Access Steering Committee would like to take this opportunity to poll UT faculty, research professors, clinical professors, lecturers, postdocs and others about their experiences, perceptions and views of open access. You can help us by participating in Open Access – A Survey for UT Faculty.
Open Access. OA. You may have heard this term popping up more and more in your academic surroundings lately. But do you know exactly what it is?
OA is sometimes confused with open source which is a practice of sharing software code. Open Access, on the other hand, is a philosophy growing in acceptance and practice — that of communicating and sharing scholarly information, research and knowledge with few or no limitations or restrictions. A concise definition of OA can be found in the Budapest Open Access Initiative which emerged out of a meeting of the Open Society Institute in December 2001.
“By open access to … literature, we mean its immediate, free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software or use them for any other lawful purpose…”
For a more detailed explanation, see “What is Open Access?” by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
A small group of interested UT faculty have gathered together this fall to begin to investigate how the university might move in the direction of OA. Many faculty who have National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants are already familiar with the open access experience through the NIH Public Access Policy which “requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.” PubMed Central is just one example of a subject-specific open access repository.
Many faculty, however, are not familiar with the process or philosophy of open access. We hope that Open Access Week can begin to help those who are unfamilar catch up. A recent Chronicle of Higher Education blog post mentions the headway made by at least one early adopting institution, The University of Kansas, and the obstacles it still faces. However, The University of Kansas is now joined by nearly two dozen institutions who have taken up the call to address the crisis in journal publishing costs by implementing open access policies.
Watch for more updates on open access during Open Access Week and beyond!
11/1/11 UPDATE: THE SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED. SURVEY DRAWING WINNER TO BE CONTACTED THIS WEEK AND RESULTS EXPECTED TO BE POSTED TO OUR OPEN ACCESS LIBGUIDE IN THE NEAR FUTURE.