Open Access Week returns Oct. 21-27

International Open Access Week, which runs Oct. 21-27 celebrates academic research and access to information.

International Open Access Week, which runs Oct. 21-27 celebrates academic research and access to information.

Get ready to celebrate academic research and the free flow of information.

International Open Access Week returns Oct. 21 through 27 and the James A. Gibson Library is hosting a series of presentations to help students, faculty and staff better access information.

The week kicks off with a panel discussion called Experiences with Open Access publishing, featuring professors and librarians to answer questions about the implications of Open Access on publishing and research. The panel discussion happens Monday from noon to 1 pm. in the Sankey Chamber.

Authors: Know your copyrights is a presentation by Elizabeth Yates, Brock’s liaison/scholarly communication librarian, focusing on how researchers can control how their work is published and shared. It also provides insight into the new tools that improve a researcher’s copyrights. It runs Monday from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Sankey Chamber.

Wednesday, Opening up copyright: New freedoms and resources will help students and faculty find copyright-free materials online, including images, music and academic materials to use in teaching and research. This session runs from 2 to 3 p.m. in Thistle 253.

The week wraps up with Open Access: Fact or fiction, a fun game of open access trivia, with prizes up for grabs and coffee coupons for all participants. The fun starts happens Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the library entrance.

“Open Access is about making research freely and immediately available to anyone anywhere,” Yates said. “Open Access makes things easier to find because it’s openly available on the web as opposed to being locked down in a subscription journal or other subscription-based resource.”

Currently, Brock’s Library spends about $2.6 million a year on materials. About $1.8 million of that is on scholarly journal and database subscriptions alone, Yates noted.

Faculty, students and staff at Brock can access these journals but if they leave the university, they lose those privileges. With Open Access, everyone could access the information for free, whether or not they attend Brock.

Open Access is important for another reason, Yates added. Research is often government-funded, which means it’s paid for by taxpayers.

“So why shouldn’t people have access to the research they paid for as well?”

Open Access Week also coincides with the publication of Canada’s new draft tri-agency Open Access policy from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), which will require grant recipients to make research published in academic journals openly accessible within 12 months of publication.

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