Are you: …a scientist hoping to maximize the audience for your research? …a student who’s tried to access a journal article through Google and hit a paywall? …an early career researcher concerned about establishing your scholarly reputation? …a taxpayer who wants to be able to access government-funded health research? If so, then Open Access is relevant to you! This week, Snell Library is celebrating International Open Access Week, which highlights the importance of expanding access to research on a global scale. Open Access Week is an international event now in its eighth year – its purpose is to raise awareness about inequities in access to information and promote change in the publishing industry. Traditionally, researchers access information they need through a personal subscription, buying a book, or accessing information through a library. But what if your library doesn’t have a subscription? Or, what happens when you graduate? Or, what about researchers in developing countries where the costs of access are out of reach? (Journal subscriptions can cost thousands of dollars.) These are some of the reasons why opening access to research is important. The theme of International Open Access Week this year is “Generation Open” – highlighting the importance of students and early career researchers as advocates for change. Snell Library has several events planned to celebrate OA Week; given the theme this year, I’m very pleased that for the first time, one of our events features a Northeastern student’s work! And be sure to stop by our table in the lobby of Snell every day this week (11:30-1:30) to learn more and pick up a totebag, laser-cut bookmark, or pen! Schedule of Events Monday, October 20 3:00 pm-4:30 pm 90 SL Webcast: “Generation Open” Panel Discussion Speakers will discuss the importance of students and early career researchers in the transition to Open Access and explore how changes in scholarly publishing affect scholars and researchers at different stages of their careers. Refreshments will be served. Wednesday, October 22 3:30 pm-8:30 pm Digital Scholarship Commons (211 SL) Wikipedia Edit-a-thon Join us to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of under-represented groups in Massachusetts and U.S. history. This hack-a-thon style session will focus on editing and updating Wikipedia pages in a group setting. Participants do not need any prior experience with Wikipedia, just bring a laptop and a power supply. Refreshments will be served. Thursday, October 23 12:00 pm-1:00 pm DMC 3D Printing Studio 3D Printing Presentation: Andreas Aghamianz Northeastern student Andreas Aghamianz (COE ’18) will discuss the process of fabricating and assembling his open-sourced inMoov robotic hand. Thursday, October 23 2:00 pm-3:00 pm 90 SL Webcast: The Right Metrics for Generation Open Stacy Konkiel of Impactstory presents a guide to getting credit for practicing open science. Refreshments will be served.
Linking to articles and e-book chapters on Blackboard is a great way to help your students save money on classpacks. It’s also a good way to stay in compliance with copyright law! We’ve created a new guide to help you find and create permalinks to articles and e-books in library databases – links that will persist over time and are best for including in an online reading list. Check it out here!
When the Northeastern University Libraries launched IRis in 2006, the idea of an “institutional repository” was still fairly new. Universities were starting repositories to share their intellectual and administrative output – faculty-authored articles, dissertations and theses, student-run publications, university-created reports, and other documents. Seven years later, many more colleges and universities around the world have digital repositories of open access materials created by their faculty, students, and staff. These repositories often also host open-access journals and other publications – at Northeastern, IRis has hosted the Annals of Environmental Science since 2007, and also provides access to faculty-authored and -edited books. IRis began with only a few collections in 2006, but has grown exponentially since then. Today, IRis contains over 6,000 items, and as of Tuesday, October 15, 2013, these items have been downloaded one million times! Although it’s not possible to determine which one item received the lucky one-millionth download, we know that on that day, 649 items were downloaded 1147 times. Here’s a breakdown of the types of materials downloaded that day: Here are top downloads in each category, for October 15, 2013:
- Book: Literatura judía latinoamericana contemporánea: una antología / Literatura judaica latino-americana contemporânea: uma antologia / Contemporary Jewish Latin American literature: an anthology (Stephen A. Sadow, editor, 2013)
- Dissertation/Thesis: The Evolution of Police Organizations and Leadership in the United States: Potential Political and Social Implications (Alice Elizabeth Perry, 2010)
- Faculty Publication: “The Network Structure of Exploration and Exploitation” (David Lazer & Allan Friedman, 2007)
- NU-Edited Journal Article: “Characterization of Designer Biochar Produced at Different Temperatures and Their Effects on a Loamy Sand” (Jeffrey M. Novak, et al., Annals of Environmental Science vol. 3, 2009)
- NU Publication: Using Classroom Assessment Data to Improve Student Learning (Center for Effective University Teaching, 2001)
- Research Center Publication: The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School: Joblessness and Jailing for High School Dropouts and the High Cost for Taxpayers (Center for Labor Market Studies, 2009)
- Undergraduate Work: “Design of a solar powered fruit and vegetable dryer” (Ryan Blair, et al., 2005)
Society for Creative Anachronism, including calligraphy and illumination, archery, and homebrewing. She looks forward to meeting and working with her fellow Huskies on their geospatial projects. Welcome, Kevan!College of Professional Studies graduate Kevan Grimaldi has returned to Northeastern as a new GIS assistant. She followed a lifelong interest in maps and geoscience into an undergraduate program in Earth science at Dartmouth College, where she got her first taste of geographic information systems (GIS). After finishing at Dartmouth, she became a full-time GIS user for a private navigations company, and later entered Northeastern’s own masters program in geographic information technology. Kevan’s new role at Snell will be to support faculty, staff, and students in their respective GIS-based endeavors. She plans to offer both one-on-one consultations for specific projects and workshops and training on general GIS use, and will be available by email and appointment. Ask at the Digital Media Commons Information desk on the second floor of Snell to get connected with Kevan. When not immersing herself in geospatial data, Kevan enjoys orienteering, reading, and various pursuits through involvement in the
On Friday afternoon, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum containing some pretty big news (PDF): all federal agencies with annual research or development expenditures over $100 million must develop policies that will ensure public access to the results of the research activity that they fund. The White House has twice previously invited comments on the topic of open access to federally funded research, and in May 2012 an online “We the People” petition gathered in only two weeks the 25,000 signatures required to get a response from the Obama administration (the petition currently has over 65,000 signatures). John Holdren, President Obama’s science advisor and director of the OSTP, issued that response on Friday, linking to the memorandum prepared by his office and saying, “The Obama Administration agrees that citizens deserve easy access to the results of research their tax dollars have paid for… [and] is committed to ensuring that the results of federally-funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community.” You may have heard about the recently proposed Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act, aka “FASTR.” It’s the successor to the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) legislation that was first proposed in 2006 but has never been voted on by Congress. FASTR, if it passes Congress, would legislate open access to federally funded research, but given the length of time FRPAA languished, that’s certainly not guaranteed to happen quickly. However, the OSTP memorandum directs these federal agencies to start preparing their access policies immediately, with a deadline of six months for implementation.
What does this mean for researchers?If you receive research funding from one of the federal agencies covered by this directive*, your published articles and, in some cases, research data will need to be submitted to an open access repository within 12 months of publication. While it’s too early yet to know the specifics of how each agency will choose to comply with the directive and at what moment their policies will go into effect, it’s not a stretch to assume that the new policies will probably look a lot like the NIH’s Public Access Policy, implemented in 2008, which requires funding recipients to deposit their articles in PubMedCentral. (In many cases publishers assist with the deposit process. You can read more about the NIH policy on our website.) As a result, your research results will reach a vastly wider audience, including all American taxpayers. *An incomplete list of these agencies from John Wilbanks includes: the Environmental Protection Agency; NASA; the National Science Foundation; the Smithsonian Institution; and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, the Interior, State, and Transportation. It isn’t yet clear whether the National Endowment for the Humanities is included. I’ll update this post when more information is available.
- Nature News Blog, “White House announces new US open access policy” (February 22, 2013)
- Peter Suber, “Second shoe drops: new White House Directive mandates OA” (February 22, 2013)
- SPARC, “SPARC applauds White House for landmark directive opening up access to scientific research” (February 22, 2013)