Celebrate Open Access Day! For those who are not familiar with the Open Access movement, Open Access usually refers to literature that is digital, online, free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Here is a good introduction: http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/brief.htm
- Why does Open Access matter to me? As a Reference and Electronic Resources Librarian, I help students locate the research they need. We do not have a large budget for e-journals, so subscribing to quality, relevant research is paramount. Students could care less about embargos and subscription contracts; what they care about is finding what they need, when they need it. So if the library cannot afford to purchase an expensive subscription and a student is aware that a college nearby carries the journal, the student has the option to go to the other institution or place an interlibrary loan request.
- How did you first become aware of it? I became aware of the open access movement when I became involved with managing e-journals.
- Why should scientific and medical research be an open-access resource for the world? There is an ethical and moral component to this question. Not only research should be free but research should be available to everyone particularly those in the scientific and medical community. Whether it is a scientist researching for a cure for cancer to a young women who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is looking up information on Medline, research should not be difficult to access. Access should be transparent and seamless.
- What do you do to support Open Access, and what can others do? Librarians should support Open Access by launching an institutional repository, publishing an open access journal and insisting to publishers that the stop charging high prices for their journals.