Happy Open Access Week!

AskmeaboutOpenAccessThe 6th annual international Open Access Week is here! This has been another banner year for open access publishing — as reported on Science Insider (a blog at Science), over half of all scholarly papers are now available open access and free of charge no later than 24 months after they’re first published. That’s a milestone worth celebrating!

I’m looking forward to the events this week happening at my college and university, as well as living vicariously through the events happening elsewhere via Twitter and the blogosphere. I’m sure there’s loads of great stuff going on all over; here are a couple of events and thoughts that have caught my eye.

Open Access Button

This project from a group of European students and researchers seems like a great one: channel the frustration we all feel when we hit a paywall into research and action. In their own words, here’s their goal for the open access button:

This idea was a browser-based tool which tracks how often readers are denied access to academic research, where in the world they were or their profession and why they were looking for that research. The tool would aggregate this information into one place and would create a real time, worldwide, interactive picture of the problem. The integration of social media and mapping technology would allow us to make this problem visible to the world. Lastly, we want to help the person gain access to the paper they’d been denied access to in the first place. Through incentivising use and opening the barriers to knowledge, this can be really powerful.

Today, in honor of Open Access Week, they announced their beta launch date: November 18th. Sign up to be a beta tester here.

DigiNole Upload-A-Thon

Florida State University Libraries are hosting an interesting event this year — a workshop to encourage and guide faculty and researchers through the process of uploading their work to the university’s institutional repository. Called the Upload-A-Thon, they’re striving to have at least one faculty member from each department at the university to upload at least one article that’s already been published. I really like this idea — in addition to the catchy name, it sets out a modest goal and aims to help demystify open access for those new to the concept. I’ll be interested to hear how it goes.

What about book chapters?

I eavesdropped on an interesting conversation on Twitter over the weekend. Most folks think of journal articles when they think of open access publishing, but what about book chapters? Books tend to be less of a focus of OA activism, though as some of the folks I listened in on pointed out, interlibrary loan isn’t always possible, so maybe books should play a bigger part in OA advocacy efforts.

Lots of publishing librarians publish their work as part of a book, myself included — can we make these chapters OA post publication as many articles are? It’s a great question and one that likely has many answers depending on which publishers we’re working with. I have several pieces that appear in books and have let this question go unanswered for myself for far too long, so this year for OA Week I’m going to take the time to dig out those old contracts and see what I can free.

What are you doing to celebrate Open Access Week this year? Are you attending or presenting in any workshops or programs? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

Author: Maura Smale

Maura Smale is Chief Librarian at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

4 thoughts on “Happy Open Access Week!”

  1. This is great! I didn’t know it was OA week but I am doing something this week anyway to solidify my commitment to OA moving forward, so I thought I’d share it. I’m submitting the final version of my Master’s thesis in theology to my own library and signing off on the digital version being made accessible worldwide upon being uploaded into our digital Masters theses collection. I waffled for half a second on it thinking I may try to flip it and submit part of it to a theology journal for publication, but I decided even if I do that, the submission’s scope and argument arc will be substantially revised, rendering my as-is thesis to the dark restricted area of the web unnecessarily (if I were to choose to not allow public access in our collection). This is silly. So, open and unrestricted it will be in the name if OA! 🙂 Happy OA week!

  2. A colleague and I published a chapter in an IGI Global book last fall, and we were able to secure an agreement that we could include the post-publication chapter PDF in our university’s digital repository. It took some pushing, though. IGI’s default agreement is incredibly restrictive, more so than most journals. They said they’d give us reuse permission after we signed the regular contract and after publication and refused any contract modifications. We said that we wouldn’t sign the main contract until we had a signed reuse agreement that allowed us to post the chapter in our digital repository, and that worked. Again, I’ll repeat: it took some pushing (as it has with journal publishers as well, in my experience).

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