Articles tagged with: OA Week

  • Nicola Simmons wins Brock University Award for Open Access

    Nicola Simmons, Assistant Professor of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education, has won the first Brock University Award for Open Access.

    Simmons’ dedication to freely sharing the scholarship of teaching and learning includes publishing and reviewing for open access journals as well as scholarly blogging and creating the publicly accessible Annotated Literature Database for education research.

    The adjudication committee — Collections Librarian Ian Gibson, Nicole Nolan, Associate University Librarian, Research and Elizabeth Yates, Liaison/Scholarly Communication Librarian — were impressed by the high calibre of award submissions. “The breadth of Nicola’s dedication to open access made her a standout,” Yates says in a Brock News story on the award.

    “Not only is she actively publishing and reviewing for open access journals, but she is also openly engaging with the teaching and learning community via scholarly blogs and websites.”

    The award, announced during International Open Access Week, includes a grant of $2,500, which Simmons has donated to support the open access peer-reviewed Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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  • Open access: let’s talk about costs

    Image of dollar bill

    Most researchers support the principle of open access: that knowledge is a public good and should be freely shared. However, sharing freely does not always mean there are no costs involved. Publishing is expensive: funds are needed to pay for staff  who produce and edit academic books and journals and for technology and infrastructure such as websites, publishing software and servers.

    So if a journal is free to read, who pays for its publishing costs?

    There are many business models for open access journals, including advertising sales, subsidies from disciplinary societies or institutions, institutional publisher memberships and collaborative journal purchasing.  The model which attracts the most attention, however, is the use of article processing charges: journals charge authors a fee for each article they publish. These fees vary widely, ranging from a couple of hundred to several thousand dollars. About one-third of open access journals charge APCs, including journals published by major commercial firms including Elsevier, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, and SpringerNature.

    Article processing charges (APCs) are seen as a major barrier to open access. Researchers, particularly those who do not receive grant funding, may struggle to pay these fees. Some institutions offer grant programs to assist with APCs, but find it impossible to meet the full costs of APCs for all of their researchers.

    Brock’s Library Open Access Publishing Fund was established in 2011 as an educational initiative, aimed at raising awareness of open access and helping Brock researchers who choose to publish in journals which charge APCs. Since then, the fund has distributed 27 grants of up to $2,500 each to cover APCs for Brock researchers. The Library recently collected metrics, including citations, which demonstrate the impressive reach of these open access articles.

    While publishing in an open access journal is one route to open access, it’s important to note that researchers can freely share their work – for free – via online archives, such as the Brock Digital Repository. These archives are free to use and their contents are indexed n Google Scholar, making Brock scholars’ work available to everyone around the globe.

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  • Open in order to … increase access to knowledge

    The idea that society is enriched by the free sharing of knowledge and that the public has the right to access taxpayer-funded research is a major motivation for open scholarship. The concept of knowledge as a public good was a main driver for researchers who drafted the original Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002:

    Removing access barriers to … (scholarly) literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.”

    During this celebration of International Open Access Week, we can acknowledge that many barriers remain before those lofty goals are achieved. But the rapid growth in open access literature – now occupying at least 20% of the scholarly publishing sphere – demonstrates that researchers are increasingly embracing the principles of open access. Here at Brock, for example, a majority of faculty surveyed in 2014 agreed that their research should be freely available to all readers.

    Free access is particularly important in less wealthy nations, where researchers as well as the public may not be able to afford costly subscription journals. For example, Brock University Professor Ana Sanchez prioritizes freely sharing her research on tropical diseases affecting poor residents of developing countries.

    Health Sciences professor Ana Sanchez

    “Because it was open, my article reflects the very same principles of my research work: knowledge should serve the people who need it the most,” Sanchez says of Soil-transmitted helminth infections and nutritional status in school-age children from rural communities in Honduras. Published in 2013 in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases – with funding support from the Library Open Access Publishing Fund – this article has attracted more than 8,300 views and 1,300 downloads.

    Learn more about open access – and win a sweet prize! – on Thursday at the Open Access Fact or Fiction Prize Wheel in the Learning Commons, 11 am-12 pm.

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  • Open Access in order to … Collaborate

    Two figures with arrows pointing at each other

    Research is becoming increasingly transdisciplinary and collaborative: it’s common for people located at several different institutions to partner on the same study. But varying levels of access to subscription journal literature can make it tough for everyone on the same research team to access the same articles they all need.

    Open access removes those barriers so that scholarly literature is free for anyone, anywhere – thus making it easier for researchers to collaborate, wherever they are. Open access can also spark entirely new partnerships: let’s say someone just happens to find your study freely available online, realizes you share the same research interests and gets in touch to talk about working together.

    Image of Bareket Falk

    Kinesiology professor Bareket Falk

    Even when open access may not directly influence a research project, it continues to advance the scholarly conversation. An article that’s open is thus open for commentary – as experienced by Brock Kinesiology professor Bareket Falk, who received a grant from the Library Open Access Publishing Fund to help publish an article in the open access journal Scoliosis.

    “Because it was open, it may have attracted more attention. It is difficult to tell,” said Falk. “Nevertheless, a commentary (letter to the editor) was published on the topic and we were invited to comment.”

    Open Access week events continue. Don’t miss today’s live stream presentation by Canada Research Chair and copyright scholar Michael Geist @ 12:40 in ST1126.

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  • Open Access in Order to … Gain More Citations

          
    Did you know that open access articles attract more citations than those published in subscription journals? A substantial body of research evidence demonstrates what’s known as the Open Access Citation Advantage. A recent study in the open access journal PLoS ONE found that advantage to be as high as 19% — even when articles had been embargoed (made open access after a certain period). This is because it’s easier for anyone to access a freely available article – meaning that scholars anywhere can cite it in their own papers without worrying if their institution can afford an expensive journal subscription.

    Why does this matter? Higher citations are regarded as a major indicator of research impact – the basis for growth in both individual researchers’ careers and in the profile of their institutions.

    Here at Brock, recipients of funding from the Library Open Access Publishing Fund attest to the benefits of freely sharing their articles:

    “Because it was open, this article received more citations than those I have published the same time period but not open.” —Jian Liu, Professor, Health Sciences

    “Because it was open,  my article attracted higher citations.” — Ping Liang, Associate Professor, Biology.

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