Open Access? What’s That?

Posted on October 20th, 2015 by

Open Access logoThis is Open Access Week, a time to advocate for access to research for all, not just those who are currently enrolled at a college that has a library that can pay for access to research. Why does this matter? Because research matters – and too few people can access it when an article is behind a paywall and costs $40. We don’t have to do it this way.

Some researchers take the time and trouble to make sure the research they publish in traditional (and often very expensive) journals can be posted online. The library can help with that – we have an institutional repository. Many publishers will allow Gustavus faculty to put a version of their article in the repository, where it will be available to anyone in the world.

Some journals are moving to an open access model. These journals are finding new ways other than subscriptions and $40 articles to pay for their basic operations. The Directory of Open Access Journals lists many of them. Some projects are working toward making those expensive academic books open access, too. Some academic books cost over $100 and are not available in most libraries. We think that’s a shame.

What else needs to be open? How about textbooks? There’s a movement gathering steam to create high-quality textbooks that are free to all.

If you want to read more about it, here are some resources.



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