Articles tagged with: Open Access

  • Paywall: The Business of Scholarship

    On September 5th, 2018 the documentary film Paywall: The Business of Scholarship made its global premiere. For those who are not entirely familiar with the world of academic publishing, this film provides an enlightening background on the process researchers take to publish articles and how members of the public then access that information. The film draws attention to restricted access to knowledge, specifically scientific journal publications.  Many students, researchers, and industry professionals cannot afford to pay the exorbitant prices charged by subscription journal publishers. This has been described as “holding scientific knowledge to ransom”.

    The movie educates viewers on the 35-40% profit margins made by publishing giants. These profits are significantly higher than corporate giants such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Walmart. Further, the fact that much of the research owned by publishing giants has been publicly funded is also brought to light. Governments are funding research that is then held by companies such as Elsevier who charge tax payers to access that same information that their tax dollars originally paid for.

    The practice of charging individuals to access journal articles is especially detrimental to health professionals, doctors, researchers, and even patients who cannot access information that could have a significant impact on medicine. The practice of charging for information also leads to a prejudicial dissemination of knowledge. For universities and medical professionals in countries where the funds are not as readily available as they may be in the United States, their studies and more importantly, their treatment of patients is critically impacted by their inability to access paywalled medical information. Often times, individuals are paying for articles that prove not to contain the information they were looking for to begin with and in countries where there are no budgets for such expenditures, it is not possible for them to waste money on articles that they can’t be certain contain beneficial information.

    Paywall: The Business of Scholarship clearly highlights the negative effects of article paywalls and provides a background on how the lack of access to knowledge has sprung the OA movement to “democratize information.” Open access promotes inclusivity and efficiency and the ideas that “scholarship must be open in order for scholarship to happen” and “scholarship is a conversation and the only way to have a conversation is to know what everyone is saying.”

    To learn more about Paywall’s and Open Access, the James A. Gibson Library will be screening the documentary on October 23rd, 9-11 am, Library Classroom B.

    Film quotation source: https://paywallthemovie.com/

    Blog post by Alicia Floyd.

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Main

  • Open Access Week – October 22-28

    The Theme of the 2018 International Open Access Week is “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge”.  As Brock University Library staff were planning for OA Week, the question arose; “What is this theme trying to get across … what does it mean?”

    Nick Shockey, Director of Programs & Engagement, SPARC describes the theme as follows: “This year’s theme reflects a scholarly system in transition. While governments, funders, universities, publishers, and scholars are increasingly adopting open policies and practices, how these are actually implemented is still in flux. As open becomes the default, all stakeholders must be intentional about designing these new, open systems to ensure that they are inclusive, equitable, and truly serve the needs of a diverse global community.”

    A key concept in this year’s theme is equity.  By definition equity is “the quality of being fair and reasonable in a way that gives equal treatment to everyone.” (Collins Dictionary, 2018) It is reasonable and perhaps ethical to say that everyone, especially individuals in an academic environment should have access to knowledge.  Moves toward open knowledge are gaining momentum, such as incentives for researchers to share their work openly and awareness surrounding the importance and benefits of publishing in an open format is growing. However, much work still needs to be done. Universities are still paying publishing giants exorbitant fees to provide students, faculty and staff access to thousands of paywalled journals. Shockey raises some interesting questions in his blog; “How do we ensure sustainability models used for open access are not exclusionary? What are inequities that open systems can recreate or reinforce? Whose voices are prioritized? Who is excluded? How does what counts as scholarship perpetuate bias? What are areas where openness might not be appropriate?” Advocates and supporters of Open Access are actively addressing these concerns through ongoing conversations and initiatives to continuously increase inclusive, accessible scholarship.

    Brock University is taking steps to support and promote Open Access. Learn more about Open Access, O.A. platforms and scholarly communication at Brock University.  For more information on International Open Access week visit: www.openaccessweek.org.

    Blog post by Alicia Floyd.

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Main

  • Open Access Week, 2018

    Brock Library will celebrate International Open Access Week – Oct. 22-28 – with events highlighting the need to develop systems of sharing research which are open, inclusive and equitable.

    Please join us as we explore and celebrate the importance of open access to scholarship:

    Monday Oct. 22
    Open Access Fact or Fiction Prize Wheel — 10:30-11:30 am, Library Learning Commons: come spin the wheel and win a prize!

    Tuesday Oct. 23

    Movie screening & discussion (popcorn will be provided):
    Paywall: The Business of Scholarship — multi-faceted exploration of the high financial and social costs of scholarly publishing
    9-11 am, Library Classroom B

    Wednesday Oct. 24

    Movie screening & discussion (popcorn will be provided):
    The Internet’s Own Boy — The story of programming prodigy and open activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26
    10am-12pm, TH253

    Thursday Oct. 25

    Webinar: Exploring Open Educational Resources — 12-1 pm, ST1126

    Friday Oct. 26

    Open Access Fact or Fiction Prize Wheel – 10:30-11:30 am, Library Learning Commons: come spin the wheel and win a prize!

    We will also celebrate Open Access Week by announcing the winner of the Brock University Award for Open Access and the Brock Library OpenCon Scholarship. And be sure to check out our displays and information about open access in Library and Learning Commons display cases.

    For more information, contact Elizabeth Yates, Liaison and Scholarly Communication Librarian, at eyates@brocku.ca

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Main

  • Publish, Don’t Perish: Tips for Evaluating Journals

    Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

    Library Workshop July 3, 2-3 pm, TH253 – EVERYONE IS WELCOME.

    So, you want to make sure you publish your research in a “good” journal? Join Scholarly Communication Librarian Elizabeth Yates and Library employees for a presentation highlighting strategies for evaluating the quality and relevance of academic journals. Participants will hear suggestions for maximizing the reach of their research via open access publishing and will learn tips for avoiding predatory publications.

    Register

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Main

  • Library Open Access Publishing Fund open for applications

    The Library Open Access Publishing Fund, an educational opportunity designed to encourage interest in open access publishing, is now accepting applications for 2018-19.

    The fund assists Brock University faculty, librarians, staff, and students in paying article processing charges levied by some open access publishers. Grants will be awarded up to a maximum of $1,500 CDN.

    Please carefully review the fund’s Terms and Conditions before applying.

    Questions? Contact Scholarly Communication Librarian Elizabeth Yates at eyates@brocku.ca or X4469.

    Tags:
    Categories: Main

  • 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

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Main

  • 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.

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Main

  • 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.

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Main

  • 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.

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Main

  • 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.

    Tags: ,
    Categories: Main