Comprehensive open access to scholarly literature & research documentation is vital …

My Monday morning reminder to keep my eye on the global, societal benefits of OA came in the form of a google alert. The IFLA site was updated but the page refers to a 2004 declaration…….. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has a statement on Open Access to Scholarly Literature and Research Documentation. In its committed to ensuring the widest possible access to information for all peoples in accordance with the principles expressed in the Glasgow Declaration on Libraries, Information Services and Intellectual Freedom, the statement affirms that “comprehensive open access to scholarly literature and research documentation is vital to the understanding of our world and to the identification of solutions to global challenges and particularly the reduction of information inequality“.

Open Access and Undergraduate Research

In this Webcast sponsored by Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Henry Yu, Associate Professor, Department of History, UBC discusses his work with students in the INSTRCC program and how they use the web to make migration stories and memories easily and openly accessible to the public using tools like YouTube. He also shared other ways in which he works with undergraduate students to make their rigourous and imaginative research available to a wide audience beyond UBC.

Sonja Embree, Associate Director, Undergraduate Research Opportunities, UBC will discuss the promotion and dissemination of undergraduate student research through digital archiving. Sonja oversees various programs and initiatives to get undergraduate students involved in research, including the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Program and Conference. In collaboration with cIRcle, students in the program are required to attend a workshop on publishing and copyright and deposit their final projects in cIRcle.

This video presentation gives us exciting examples of student engaged learning project that use Open Access to drive the results we see how exciting it can be for students to produce results that will have a lasting impact. Be sure to listen to the Q&A after Professor YU’s presentation. He comments on how his approach build in quality control happens with peer review, and peer accountability.

Why Open Access Matters [HD]

Sharon Terry, Patient Advocate from Open Access Videos on Vimeo.


This is one video from an excellent series of videos on the benefits of Open Access by PLoS.
There are several videos in this series discussing OA from the community angle.

PLoS stands for the Public Library of Science and rhymes with floss. As Carl Zimmer, a science writer for the New York Times said, “PLoS is now a real powerhouse in the world of scientific literature”. PLoS is committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource.

escholarship: Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines

In 2007, the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, began conducting research to understand the needs and practices of faculty for in-progress scholarly communication and archival publication.

The final report, Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines, brings together the responses of 160 interviewees across 45 research institutions in seven selected academic fields:
archaeology, astrophysics, biology, economics, history, music, and political science.

The underlying premise of the authors (Harley, Diane; Acord, Sophia Krzys; Earl-Novell, Sarah; Lawrence, Shannon; King, C. Judson) was that “disciplinary conventions matter and that social realities (and individual personality) will dictate how new practices, including those under the rubric of Web 2.0 or cyberinfrastructure, are adopted by scholars.”

The report is divided into eight chapters, which include a document synthesizing our research results plus seven detailed disciplinary case
studies.

Indeed, their work confirmed the important impact of each discipline on scholarly communication habits in research universities; the peer reviewed journal article is the primary mode of scholarly dissemination in the sciences and the quantitative social sciences, while the more interpretive, historical, and qualitative disciplines rely heavily on the university press monograph with a varying mix of journal articles, critical editions, and other publications. These traditions may override the perceived “opportunities” afforded by the new modes of open scholarly communications and 2.0 technologies.

In my new role, I’ll be working closely with the UG College of Biological Science… this report is going to be useful.

Overheard between faculty

Peer Review Monster
Peer Review Monster
“I do not want to publish in peer-reviewed journals anymore. I want to publish in places where people in the community will benefit most from my research. I wish that the Tenure and Promotion committee saw that this kind of communication has greater value.”


When I heard this expressed, I saw nods of agreement by other faculty members. It looked as though everyone in the room was agreeing and frustrated by the value trappings of T&P.

For myself, it was the first time I had heard rumblings from faculty like this. Many faculty it seems are oriented to community and social justice. They want to be rewarded when they do research that directly empowers community and improves peoples lives. Faculty, it would appear, are frustrated by the cost of “locking” up their work in the current trappings of the peer reviewed system….

It looks to me that many faculty are ready to embrace open-access publishing and scholarly communication… If we can only get the word out that libraries can support them…