Brandeis goes orange for Open Access Week

LTS promotes free, online access to scholarly research

No, Library and Technology Services (LTS) isn’t rebranding this week — the website is going orange in support of Open Access Week, a worldwide promotion of free, online access to scholarly research. 

Brandeis University is one of more than 900 institutions around the world participating in the six-year-old initiative. This week, LTS is working hard to reach out to faculty, graduate students and staff to explain the concepts and ramifications of open access. 

The open access movement calls for free online access to scholarly research. That entails removing pay walls and is an alternative to paid-subscription models from scholarly journals says Patrick Gamsby, academic outreach librarian and coordinator of Open Access Week at Brandeis.

LTS is also promoting its Open Access Fund to help faculty, staff and students publish in established scholarly journals not supported through subscriptions.  

The fund provides 80 percent of the costs per article with 20 percent coming from the department or author — costs that can sometimes be written into grant proposals so departments and authors won’t need to pay out of pocket, Gamsby says.

“When you remove barriers to access, you make it possible for anyone, anywhere in the world, to read your work. That opens amazing possibilities for collaboration,” Gamsby says. 

One major challenge facing the movement’s supporters is convincing scholars open access journals have the same rigorous standards as subscription journals. Gamsby dismisses the notion that quality control is lacking. Nor does open access mean people can appropriate your research, says John Unsworth, vice provost, university librarian and chief information officer.

“Open access is all about making material free to the end user. It does not remove intellectual ownership of the material,” Unsworth says. 

LTS plans to combat these misconceptions this week and provide information to faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students about the value of open access publishing. 

“In many ways, the open access movement is very much in step with Brandeis’ commitment to social justice,” Gamsby says. “Making research openly available on the Internet makes it accessible to anyone, regardless of institutional affiliation. That is a big step toward intellectual empowerment.”

For more information about open access policies, visit Brandeis University Scholarly Communications. 

Categories: General, Research

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