Library promotes discussion about open access issues
General awareness on campus about the movement to provide unrestricted access to research material has increased since Queen’s started participating in International Open Access Week three years ago.
“Momentum at Queen’s is building slowly which is the case across North America,” says Sam Kalb, Scholarly Communications Services Coordinator, Queen’s Library.
In North America, the practice of opening access to journals is more advanced than submitting individual articles or research into open access repositories.
Most open access journals, certainly the ones Queen’s supports, are peer reviewed so academics can feel comfortable that their work is vetted by their colleagues in the same manner as traditional journals. Use of open access repositories often varies across academic disciplines. In some areas such as physics, open access has been part of the research culture for years.
Open access offers universities and researchers several benefits. Library budgets in recent years have been strained due to the high cost of academic journal subscriptions. Furthermore, students who come to rely on journals often can’t afford to access them after graduation.
Open access has also been a boost for research communities in the developing world. Open Journal Systems (OJS) now hosts thousands of open access journals, many originating in countries where traditional academic journals aren’t published because of high printing costs.
OJS at Queen’s currently hosts 12 open access journals and several more will be added in the near future. The QSpace repository has grown to well over 5,000 items.
Queen’s will participate in the International Open Access Week October 24-29 to raise awareness about open access and the issues that surround it.
“Open access might not always be the best solution, but we want to have those discussions and see how it can be used most effectively,” says Mr. Kalb.
The open access exhibit will be on display at the entrance to Stauffer Library from October 24-26 and the entrance of Douglas Library October 27-29. The exhibit moves to Bracken Health Sciences Library October 31 and November 1.
Several free webinars have been posted on the Queen’s Library website that people can watch on their own time.