In one of my first posts to this blog, I discussed scholarly communication and how faculty can contribute to OU’s institutional repository. Closely related to the topic of scholarly communication is the topic of open access (OA), and next week marks Open Access Week, an international endeavor to promote open access as a means for sharing scholarly research.Open Conversations about Open Access If you don’t work in libraries or concern yourself with scholarly communication issues, this term might not be familiar to you, but it should be. Dean of Libraries, Rick Luce, likens libraries on campus to canaries in a coal mine, and the canaries are singing about OA. Pay attention!

What is open access?

As I’m sure many of you do, when I needed to get up to speed on the issues surrounding OA, I turned to a trusted colleague, Karen Rupp-Serrano, our Director of Collection Development and Scholarly Communication.  Her title says it all.  She’s one of the people on campus paid to know about this stuff.  When I asked her to give me a quick definition and synopsis of OA, here’s what she said:

OA literature is online, free of charge, without most copyright or licensing restrictions.  It is compatible with copyright, peer review and preservation, but unlike traditional scholarly literature, the subscription access barrier is removed.  Recent studies suggest that open access increases the visibility and impact of published research.  OA is a constructive movement; it is devoted to building a large and growing body of openly accessible literature and providing a technologically accessible, widely distributed, lower-cost alternative to subscription literature.

It serves many groups:

  • authors:  large, worldwide audience, increasing visibility and impact
  • readers:  access to the literature they need for a wide variety of needs, no matter where they are
  • teachers and students:  provides key resources to both
  • libraries:  helps address the serials pricing crisis
  • universities:  increases the visibility of their research and faculty, helps reduce budget expenses, advances the educational mission
  • funding agencies and governments:  funded research becomes more widely available, discoverable and useful
  • citizens:  receive access to research for which they pay through their taxes

Learn more about Open Access

Upcoming Events

Open Access & Your Publications: What’s Copyright Got to Do with It?

Join us on Wednesday, October 24th at 1:30-3:00 PM in Bizzell Memorial Library, room 339, for this webinar to learn more about how copyright plays into  open access.

For librarians, researchers, and many other library users, the open access movement has enabled easy and reliable access to a wide range of new publications. However, the success of open access hinges on the terms in the agreements between authors and publishers. The copyright language that spells out whether the public will have access to specific material might be buried in a cryptic, pro forma email attachment or even a click-through agreement. Don’t let your materials stay hidden under a rock—facilitate access by learning to be proactive with the expert advice of copyright authority Kenneth D. Crews. In this ALA Editions workshop you will learn to

  • Be a good steward for your institution’s rights
  • Scrutinize the publication contracts for your projects and advise faculty and researchers
  • Identify key language for a range of publishing agreement provisions
  • Negotiate the copyright clause of agreements
  • Increase usage of new publications by facilitating access for the wider community

Presenter Kenneth D. Crews has specialized for more than 25 years in copyright issues as they relate to education, libraries and research. He directs the Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia University and teaches in the Columbia Law School.

Open Conversations about Open Access: The banner on the left of the screen says it all. Save the date because University Libraries will be hosting an event on February 28-March 1 at the Embassy Suites in Norman, OK.  The event will be geared to educating OU faculty and administrators about the myriad issues surrounding open access and the implications for us.