October 15, 2010
Hey, it's Open Access Week! How do you plan to celebrate?
Okay, so maybe it's not quite on a par with Spring Break, but Open Access Week is pretty important to some researchers and librarians who would like scholarly work to be just a little more free.
Academic publishing has traditionally been dominated in many fields by expensive publications that hold very tight copyrights on the papers they publish, sometimes even charging the authors themselves to obtain reprints.
The advent of the Internet and its free-wheeling copying, pasting and modifying has given some of these publishing companies just cause to fear for their livelihoods. And it also has given birth to an entirely new model of publishing, so-called Open Access.
Rather than clamp down tighter on who can see the work, Open Access tries to publish as broadly as possible, in the belief that more eyeballs equals better work.
The journals are still relatively new, but early users of this form of publishing report higher citation rates and increased name recognition for going that route. That's Mohamed Noor's story, and he's sticking to it:
Open Access isn't exactly free, however. Some open access journals charge the authors thousands of dollars to publish their work. But once published, anybody in the world can see it, anytime. Increasing numbers of scholarly authors are justifying that cost (and most often charging it to their grants), in the interest of sharing their findings widely with the public, who quite often are the folks who paid for the research in the first place.
Learn more about open access at the Duke Library's special site.
Younger scholars also like it, including our own Steve Stanton, and Stefan Boere, who recently earned an engineering degree from the School of Industrial Engineering of Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands), seen below:
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