Library and IT host Open Access Week

Liz Branca and Jess Kaplan

The University’s Library and Information Technology department is hosting Open Access week from Oct. 21 to Oct. 30. The series will answer the questions, “Open for whom? Equity in open knowledge?” by evaluating scholarly resources for distribution and learning about the challenges that come with equitable access to knowledge.

The primary goal of the week is to explain the concept of open access to scholarly resources and journals. Event coordinator and Cataloging and Metadata Manager Tam Troup defines open access as “an outcome of the efforts of scholars interested in making materials available digitally, online, free of charge, and free of some use restrictions.”

Troup acknowledged that “even when knowledge is made available online, exclusive copyright and limited permissions ensure that knowledge can only be reused in the original format.” This week’s events aim to make scholarly research more readily available by removing price and permission barriers. The events support open access through evaluating the ethical, economic, and research ramifications of the change. From an ethical perspective, open access is a form of social justice by putting wealthy and poor students on equal ground, as many students are unable to pay for journal subscriptions.

Events include a Webinar on ACRL DSS Open Research Discussion Group, a book discussion on “Opening Science” by Sönke Bartling, and a discussion panel featuring Assistant Professor of History Jennifer Thomson, Professor of Biology Ken Field, and Associate Professor of Information Systems Eric Santanen.

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