It’s International Open Access Week (19-25 October 2015). You can get involved by learning about OA, teaching someone else about OA, and helping out on a project.
Things to read
- Academia will eat itself: the awkward love triangle of scholarly publishing
- An introduction to Open Access for academics
- Online Information Review 39 (5) Special Issue: Open Access
- Bypassing Interlibrary Loan Via Twitter: An Exploration of #icanhazpdf Requests
- Open Library of Humanities (OLH) – “a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs)”
- UCL Press – “the first fully Open Access University Press in the UK”
Things to discuss
- What is OA? A simple definition is “unrestricted online access to research outputs”. There are many others. Think about why this variability exists.
- What does this definition mean? Consider defining the main terms: unrestricted, online, access, research, output.
- Notice the absence of the word “free” from the definition. Learn about the two meanings of free – gratis, and libre. If access is to be free, who is going to pay for it? How much should be paid? How much does scholarly publishing cost? And how much is it worth?
- If the definition above were adopted, what barriers might still exist? Which people and what materials might be excluded?
- If the definition above were adopted, what would be the effects on the following? Publishers’ revenue, subscriptions contracts for libraries, inter-library loans, copyright, the role of trust in scholarly publishing, peer review, institutional repositories, resource discovery systems…
Things to do
- Participate in the SPARC & Wikipedia Library Open Access Week Edit-a-thon – the goals are (1) to improve already existing Open Access-related pages, (2) to create new content where it needs to be added, and (3) to translate Open Access-related pages into languages where they don’t yet exist. No previous experience is required. Get started here!
- Find people and organisations involved in Open Access to follow on Twitter.
- Join GOKb and add information about OA status of journals – GOKb is a “knowledge base that will describe electronic journals and books, publisher packages, and platforms… [its] enhanced data model will track changes over time, including publisher take-overs and bibliographic changes, and an expanded set of identifiers”. Thank you to Owen Stephens for this suggestion.
- Contribute to Wikidata (thanks again to Owen for the idea) – Wikidata is “a free linked database that can be read and edited by both humans and machines”. Find out how you can contribute, take an interactive tutorial and make your first edits, improve a random item, and organise or attend an event.