‘Open Access Week’ encourages free online access to scholarly research

As Florida State University observes Open Access Week Oct. 20-26, Florida State University Libraries are advancing two campuswide initiatives to support a growing international effort to promote free and immediate online access to scholarly research and the right to use research results as needed.

The two initiatives — “DigiNole Upload-A-Thon” and “Individual Statement on the Right to Research” — underscore this year’s Open Access Week theme, “Generation Open,” targeting new faculty and graduate students who are the future of scholarship.

“FSU Libraries are proud to recognize Open Access Week and encourage everyone to learn more about Open Access and the benefits it can bring to the scholarly community, as well as the public as a whole,” said Julia Zimmerman, dean of FSU Libraries.

Open Access Week, a global observance that began in 2008, provides an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of open access.

The principle of open access is that publicly funded scholarship and research should be accessible to the general public. Universities around the world are supporting this principle by working toward providing unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed scholarly research, from scholarly journal articles to a growing number of theses, book chapters and scholarly monographs.

“The open access movement is a natural outgrowth of the ability that the Internet affords us to share information,” said Micah Vandegrift, Florida State’s scholarly communication librarian. “Academic publishing is one of the last remaining industries that has yet to adapt to a digitally connected, international web where content is shared and reused in fascinating ways.”

The first initiative, “DigiNole Upload-A-Thon,” is an effort to bulk up the holdings of DigiNole Commons — the university’s institutional repository of scholarly articles — by asking one new faculty member from each academic department to upload an already-published scholarly article. The libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communication is willing to assist anyone with the deposit process.

Institutional repositories similar to Florida State’s DigiNole Commons are becoming increasingly commonplace at the nation’s universities as a method of achieving open access for works published in traditional, closed-access journals. All major publishers and many society and association publishers, including the Modern Language Association, permit this practice.

The second initiative, “Individual Statement on the Right to Research,” an open access resolution offered by the Right To Research Coalition, will give individual Florida State students and student organizations the opportunity to endorse the idea of open access as a right.

This is the fifth year that Florida State has celebrated Open Access Week. Learn more about FSU Open Access Week events by visiting the university libraries blog at fsulib.wordpress.com/oaweek-2014/ and follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #GenOpenFSU.