Why Open Access is so important?

As students, researchers and staff at QUT we go about our studies, research and work often not really thinking about where our information and resources for assignments and research come from. In many cases it’s not until we have trouble with a link to a full-text journal article that we even consider the prospect of not being able to access what we are looking for.  We take it for granted that if we can’t access that article, we can get someone at the library to find it for us, or we can use the library’s document delivery service to have the article sent directly to us.

But what if we didn’t have such easy access to articles, what if we had to pay every time we clicked on the full text link? Well, the simple answer is we do pay; QUT Library provides access to subscriptions to the world’s top academic journals and databases to ensure that we have the best and latest research available at our fingertips.  Most of these articles sit behind a pay wall and aren’t open access.

The main argument for open access to scholarly publishing is that if most research is undertaken by publically funded universities (like QUT), why then should those same institutions then have to pay again, at the library level, to access that research?   And why should this information only be shared with others who can pay for it?  The restrictive practices in traditional academic publishing constrain the growth, reach, visibility, accessibility and impact of information.   This not only stifles innovation and world knowledge, it limits the contribution to research by developing countries who can’t afford subscription costs.

Open Access is important because it benefits everyone. From researchers whose work benefits through increased collaboration and sharing, to communities who benefit from the accelerated pace of discovery.

QUT has been a key innovator in advocating for open access and was the first university to mandate open access to its scholarly work in 2003. QUT’s ePrints is the highest ranked Australian repository  according to Webometrics.  QUT also  hosts the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) which works across the region to advocate, collaborate, raise awareness, and help build capacity in open access. Creative Commons Australia is also based at QUT and provides free licences and tools that copyright owners can use to allow others to share, reuse and remix their material, legally.  QUT library, the AOASG and Creative Commons Australia can provide advice to QUT researchers on all aspects of open access.

During International Open Access week (23-29th Oct) QUT Library will be hosting a number of events and is delighted Heather Joseph, the Executive Director of Scholarly Publishing and Research Coalition (SPARC), an important US based advocacy group will be visiting QUT.

Monday 23rd Oct  2-4pm  – Open Access Bizarre Bazaar – GP-Z1064

Tuesday 24th Oct 1-3pm – Wikipedia Editing Workshop – KG Library

Wednesday 25th Oct 8:15-10am – Brisbane Tri-University event 

Friday 27th Oct 10-11:30am – The Power of Open: International Policy and Practice with Heather Joseph from SPARC – GP-Z1064

 

 

 

Open Access Week 2016: Open in Action

2016 International Open Access Week is celebrated from 24 – 28 October. You might ask, what is open access and why is it important? Open Access (OA) material is freely accessible to everyone and is important in allowing equitable access to research.  Open access can give researchers and students in developing countries access to information that they would otherwise not be able to afford.  It is also important because it takes your research to a much wider audience and makes it easier for other researchers to find and cite.

This year the focus is on Open in Action and how we as researchers, librarians and students can become more familiar with open access. We can do this by focusing on the small steps everyone can take to make openness in research a reality.

QUT will be hosting two events in International Open Access Week that will showcase these actions, the researchers who are leading by example, and the ways openness advances research and scholarship.

Register now to join us at these events and discover how you can become part of the open access movement.

Open in action: Skill exchange
Tuesday 25 October
2:00 – 4:00pm
IHBI Seminar Room, KG-Q430
Kelvin Grove
Register online now

This workshop provides an opportunity for QUT staff and HDR students to learn more about how to utilise open access in their research. Experts will give short presentations on topics ranging from scholarly publishing and applying licences to research outputs. Participants will then have the opportunity to share their skills and knowledge with their colleagues.  Light afternoon tea provided.

Open in action: Making openness in research a reality
Wednesday 26 October
2:00 – 4:00pm
The Gibson Room, GP-Z1064
Gardens Point
Register online now

All researchers at QUT will benefit from hearing from academics from QUT, Griffith, and UQ provide insight into why they incorporate open access into their research practice. They will also discuss the practicalities of open data and open access publishing for researchers. Light afternoon tea provided.

Contact Library Research Support for more information.