Queen's University

Queen's Library promotes open access to scholarly material

 
2010-10-19

Queen’s Library promotes the potential benefits and opportunities of providing scholarly information free-of-charge to readers via the Internet.

“As an organization that is committed to unrestricted access to information, Queen’s Library is very interested in the open access model,” says university librarian Martha Whitehead.

The library has kept pace with the evolution of scholarly publications, spending millions of dollars annually for access to online journals, e-books and other information resources.

Faculty and staff wanting to publish an on-line open access or subscription-based journal can do so using Open Journal Systems (OJS) @ Queen’s. The free library service is unique because it assists the publisher with every stage of the journal publishing process.

Researchers can also deposit their scholarly output to the on-line database QSpace. The system automatically tags and indexes the holdings for fast and effective search and retrieval by programs such as Google Scholar.

“By making information freely available to others around the world, Queen’s scholars can achieve greater reach for their research,” says Ms Whitehead.

In addition, research is disseminated much faster through open access.

“It may take a few years before you see your article in a journal that only publishes quarterly,” says assessment and scholarly communications service co-ordinator Sam Kalb.

Mr. Kalb believes high quality scholarship is still possible in the open access environment because the publications undergo the same peer review process as subscription-based journals.

However, many young academics have not fully embraced open access because they have to publish in traditional publications in order to secure positions and tenure.

“What is required are new types of impact factors that take into consideration the impact that a digital article has in terms of the research it spawns around the world,” Mr. Kalb says.

Open Access Week at Queen’s is intended to debate those issues and inspire wider participation to help make open access a new norm in scholarship and research. The week kicked off with a conference. The video-stream of last year’s conference and more information is also available on-line.
 

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