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Library highlights benefits of open-access publishing

Queen’s Library will highlight the benefits of open-access publishing of scholarly material during the sixth annual international Open Access Week, Oct. 21-27.

“This is a chance to heighten awareness of the open-access model, which provides many opportunities for faculty and students in disseminating their research,” says Sylvia Andrychuk, Scholarly Communications Specialist at Queen’s Library. “Open-access literature is essentially digital, online and free-of-charge, and it means a wider audience for researchers and greater access for students who perhaps can’t afford the high cost of traditional journals after they leave school.”

Queen’s Scholarly Communications Working Group, a team of specialists working in the library, provides several supports for scholars looking to explore, or those already immersed in, open-access publishing. One of those services is the Online Journal Systems (OJS), which currently hosts 16 open-access journals at Queen’s.

Faculty, staff and student groups (with faculty support) who want to publish an online open-access journal can do so free of charge through OJS. Most recently, OJS welcomed a new politics and international affairs research journal, Politicus — an exciting addition, says Ms. Andrychuk, because of its aim to publish undergraduate student work.

QSpace, a digital repository that provides easy and timely online distribution and preservation of digital content produced by members of the Queen’s community, is another important tool that has grown steadily since its inception in 2007. QSpace currently holds 6,800 items, including 3,000 theses and dissertations. Researchers can also take advantage of the online archival resource, Research Data Management, although not all data in this service is necessarily open access.

“Open access gives researchers more control over their work than they would have with the traditional publishing model,” says Mark Swartz, Copyright Specialist who provides advice and strategies to faculty and students related to open-access licensing through the library’s Copyright Advisory Office. “The resources at Queen’s are excellent tools for faculty and students and we want to encourage all researchers on campus to learn more about the open-access model, if they aren’t already absorbed in it.”

During Open Access Week, several webinars will be posted on the library’s website and the Scholarly Communications team will be on hand to answer any questions related to open access.