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

 

 

 

International Open Access Week: Open for Collaboration

Open Access Week

Join us for International Open Access Week!

Monday 19th to Friday 23rd October is International Open Access Week. Around the world, universities are holding events to celebrate and to draw attention to the many benefits that flow from an ‘open’ approach to data, research outputs and scholarly communication. This year you are encouraged to be ‘Open for Collaboration’. QUT Library is hosting two events plus there is a joint QUT, Griffith and University of Queensland event hosted by Griffith University at their Southbank Campus. The program will be of interest to QUT academic staff and HDR students so register for one or more of the events and be part of International Open Access Week.

Publishing Futures: Beyond the journal article
The session will preview the future landscape in scholarly communication in the digital era including new modes of academic publishing.
When: Monday 19th October, 2-3:30pm
Where: IHBI Seminar Room, Level 4, Q Block, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove
Register

Towards Open Science: Innovations changing (research) process, peer review and publication.
This session will discuss the open models of knowledge creation and distribution arising from increasing global expectation of open access to Government-funded research outputs.
When: Tuesday 20th October, 2-3:30pm
Where: Gibson Room, Level 10, Z Block, Gardens Point
Register

Open for Collaboration – International Open Access Week Seminar
Come along and listen to a panel of Brisbane academics talk about their approach, facilitated by Professor Ginny Barbour, Executive Officer, Australasian Open Access Support Group.
When: Wednesday 21st October, 2-4pm
Where: Ship Inn Conference Centre, Southbank Parklands
Registration is free, but essential.

Contact Library Research Support for more information.

Open for Collaboration

This year’s theme for Open Access (OA) Week is Open for Collaboration, with the intention of involving as wide a group of people as possible in all aspects of being “open”. The Australasian Open Access Support Group is supporting this week and highlighting various activities.

OA Week is October 19-23, but you can get involved early. As part of this year’s week SPARC and the Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikipedia Library are co-hosting a global, virtual edit-a-thon for Open Access-related content on Wikipedia.

You don’t need to be an expert Wikipedia editor to contribute. In fact, you don’t need any editing experience at all! All you need is an interest in Open Access and willingness to share your knowledge by adding it to an article or translating information into a new language. Training for new editors will be provided as part of the event. A homepage for the Open Access Week Edit-a-thon has been setup on the Wikimedia website. On this page, you’ll find everything you need to participate.

You can also attend up to three events at QUT during OA Week in October (19-23) to learn and hear more about how Open Access is driving collaboration and advancing research.

Contact Library Research Support for more information.

QUT helps break down the digital divide

QUT is one of 300 libraries from 24 countries joining Knowledge Unlatched (KU) in support of a shared cost approach to Open Access publishing of specialist scholarly books.

Everyone, anywhere in the world can freely access the Knowledge Unlatched Pilot Collection of books from OAPEN, HathiTrust and the British Library. The collection of 28 new books is the first step in creating a sustainable route to Open Access for Humanities and Social Sciences books.

The Executive Director of Knowledge Unlatched, Francis Pinter says that “libraries and publishers can work together to fund the publication of high quality specialist scholarly books and make them Open Access. This ensures that in the digital world we are not just replicating the old print model, but that we can indeed do better and contribute to breaking down what is fast becoming a new digital divide.”

Contact Paula Callan, Scholarly Communications Librarian, for further details on Knowledge Unlatched, and for support with scholarly publishing and open access.

National funders mandate open access

As of 1st January 2013, two of Australia’s major research funding bodies —the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC)—have both implemented open access policies which are now in effect.

The NHMRC’s policy was announced in 2012 and requires that journal articles, accepted after 1st July 2012 and arising from an NHMRC supported research project, are to be deposited into an open access institutional repository within a 12 month period from the date of publication.

This means articles accepted anytime after 1st July 2012 are subject to the NHMRC’s policy, regardless of when funding was granted.
The NHMRC understands that some researchers may not be able to meet the new requirements initially, because of current legal or contractual obligations.
The ARC’s policy, which has taken effect from 1st January 2013, requires that any publication arising from an ARC supported research project must be deposited into an open access institutional repository within 12 months from the date of publication.

It is important to note that the ARC’s policy:
• Applies to all publications (not just journal articles)
• Will take effect on publications arising from 2013 funding grants

QUT’s institutional repository, QUT ePrints, can assist authors in complying with these new policies by storing open access copies of their publications and ensuring they are discoverable. For more information about QUT ePrints and open access, contact your Liaison Librarian.