open access

Open Access Week: October 24-30, 2011

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its fifth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research. Open access to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole. During the week of October 24-30, the Northeastern University Libraries will host a series of events to celebrate Open Access. The events will cover a range of topics:
  • open collaboration in the sciences
  • the effects of Wikipedia and social networking on student research
  • open access works by Northeastern faculty
  • free and open college textbooks
  • data gathering and storage needs of grad students
Click here to view the full schedule of events for Open Access Week. The Library has supported Open Access in the Northeastern community since 2006 in the form of the University’s digital archive, IRis. The goal of IRis is to collect, manage, preserve, and share the intellectual output and historical record of Northeastern University. IRis provides open access to NU researchers who want to promote and preserve their materials, to NU students who require digital storage and promotion of their dissertations and theses, to NU administrators who need to save important university records, and to anyone who is seeking information on the intellectual productivity of the Northeastern community. Since its start, IRis has expanded to hold 531 faculty publications and approximately 600 dissertations and master’s theses. And since January 1, 2010, there have been over 230,000 downloads of full-text items from IRis, which include scholarly content as well as university archival content. Building upon the success of IRis, the Library will soon offer a robust digital repository and preservation service to the campus for digital collections, images, media, and data, as well as accompanying metadata and consulting help.

Wednesday & Thursday: Open Educational Resources @ the EdTech Center

Faculty: Have you heard about Open Educational Resources but aren’t sure how you might integrate them into your teaching? Students: Want to find out how Open Educational Resources can help supplement your education at no cost? On Wednesday, September 14, and Thursday, September 15, the EdTech Center, located in 215 Snell Library, is hosting the two-day EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) 2011 Online Fall Focus Session on Open Educational Resources. OERs include a wide range of online content, from recorded lectures to open textbooks to shared learning objects, and much more. Here is the EdTech Center’s announcement about the event. The full program is available online as well, and individual sessions are kept short so you can stop by as your schedule permits to hear about topics of interest to you. All you need to do is register for the event at their website, take a look at the schedule, and come on over!   Coming Soon: Open Access Week! October 24-30, 2011 And, if you’re interested in issues regarding open access to information in higher education, stay tuned for details to come soon about Open Access Week 2011! We’re planning a week full of events to celebrate, investigate, and discuss open access here at Northeastern. In the meantime, check out our new guide to Open Access, which includes basic information as well as tons of suggestions for finding open journal content, open textbooks, open media resources, and more!    

Use NIH RePORTER to learn about grant-funded research at Northeastern

Did you know you can easily find out about research at Northeastern that’s being funded by the National Institutes of Health? The NIH RePORTER is “an electronic tool that allows users to search a repository of NIH-funded research projects and access publications and patents resulting from NIH funding.” It’s a component of NIH’s RePORT service (Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools), and it “satisfies a legislative mandate included in the NIH Reform Act of 2006 to provide the public with an electronic system to search NIH research projects using a variety of codes, including public health area of interest, and provide information on publications and patents resulting from NIH-funded research.” RePORTER shows that there are currently 96 active projects at Northeastern being funded by the NIH, from award years 2009 through 2011: Since 1987, Northeastern University researchers have worked on 1,023 NIH-funded projects: NIH RePORTER gives details of each funded project, including the award amount, the principal investigator(s), the project abstract and keywords, and any related projects or subprojects. It links each project to its published results in PubMedCentral as well as any related patents. As well as being able to search by institution, you can also search by investigator name, topic, geographic location, and specific funding agency, institute or center within NIH. If you create a free account you can receive weekly e-mailed alerts on your saved search queries (RSS is not yet available, but I hope it will be soon.) I highly recommend this resource for anyone who wants to learn more about health sciences research being conducted at Northeastern.

How Has the NIH Public Access Policy Affected You?

Heather Joseph at SPARC writes, “It’s hard to believe, but April 7, 2011 will mark the 3rd Anniversary of the implementation of the policy opening up access to articles reporting on the results of NIH-funded research.” (Read more about the NIH Public Access Policy here.) SPARC is gathering stories from authors as well as readers about how having wider access to taxpayer-funded research has affected them. Joseph continues:
The policy has shown tremendous signs of success. PubMed Central now contains more than 2 million full text articles reporting on the latest NIH-funded research, and nearly a half million individuals access these articles each day. With this new wealth of information now available, we’d like to know what your experience has been with it. Specifically, we’d like to hear: 1. How have you been using the database? 2. Have you used the articles to help inform yourself about new developments in a specific area? 3. Has the availability of these articles through PubMed Central helped you advance your research in ways that would not have occurred if they were not available? 4. Have articles that you have authored appeared in PubMed Central as a result of the policy? 5. Have you been contacted by other researchers who have found your work in the database, or vice versa? 6. Have you taken any of the articles to your doctor or other health care provider? 7. Has your healthcare provider used this database as a resource? (if you don’t know, please ask her/him!) 8. Has the availability of the articles in PMC had an impact on how you (or anyone in your community) manage your health care? We’ve heard from people who have used the latest research in various ways, and the stories are extremely powerful. If you have one, please share it! It will help us to not only ensure that PubMed Central remains open as an important public resource, but also to make the case to open up additional publicly funded databases from HHS and other federal agencies as well.
If you’d like to contribute your story about PubMed Central and the NIH Public Access Policy, you can e-mail Heather Joseph directly at (Source:

Announcing BioMedCentral Institutional Membership

The Northeastern University Libraries are pleased to announce a new institutional membership in BioMedCentral, effective March 1, 2011. Northeastern joins over 350 institutions worldwide who support BioMedCentral, an online publisher with a pioneering policy of providing free and open access to the peer-reviewed research papers they publish. All research articles published in BioMedCentral’s 213 biomedical and clinical journals are freely and universally accessible online with no barriers to access. And authors keep the copyright to their articles, allowing them to freely reuse and redistribute their research in print and online. Northeastern’s institutional membership helps sustain this publishing model through direct support of BioMedCentral as well as providing to its affiliated authors a 15% discount on the article processing fee paid upon acceptance of their submitted articles. As well as securing Open Access to research, publishing in BioMedCentral’s journals brings many additional benefits, including: • Immediate publication upon acceptance • No extra charge for extensive datasets, comprehensive methods, color figures, and video footage • The ability to track how many people have viewed a paper on BioMedCentral’s website • A large number of journals to choose from, covering all subjects in biology and medicine with different levels of selectivity For more information about BioMedCentral, visit For more information about Northeastern’s BioMedCentral membership and how it can benefit you, please contact me at