Every year, during the month of October, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) organizes the international event Open Access Week. For one week we focus on the importance and need for Open Access scholarship and, as SPARC has said, it provides “an opportunity for open access advocates to engage their communities to teach them about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.”
So, how does the Strauss Health Sciences Library support Open Access?
The Strauss Library supports Open Access in several ways. To start, Open Access is part of the Strauss Library’s Collection Development Policy and we regularly make Open Access content available through our library catalog. Here are some examples of Open Access journals currently available in our catalog:
- PLoS Medicine
- Biomedical Journal
- BMJ Open
- International Journal of Medical Sciences
- International Journal of Biological Sciences
In addition to providing access to Open Access, the Strauss Library supports the CU Anschutz campus publishing in Open Access journals. If campus affiliates publish in an Open Access journal, depending on their author rights, they can preserve their article in our institutional repository, Mountain Scholar, as well. Learn more about Mountain Scholar.
How is Open Access relevant to the medical and health sciences field?
Open Access is beneficial to all subjects and fields. Allowing your research to be freely available will generally increase citations, support further advances in the field, and increase representation in the field.
Here are examples of Open Access in the medical and health sciences fields:
- Open Access Research | Gail Rees
- 3-minute YouTube video about the impact of Dr. Rees’s open access works
- Open Source Malaria project
- According to SPARC, it “invites scientists from around the around to freely share their research on anti-malaria drugs through a transparent, online platform. The hope is to accelerate discovery of new drug candidates to be entered into pre-clinical development. All data and ideas are shared openly. There are no patents.”
- Open Medicine Foundation
- According to their mission, OMF supports “collaborative medical research to find effective treatments and diagnostic markers for chronic complex diseases with initial focus on ME/CFS.”
This year’s Open Access Week theme is “Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion”. What does that mean?
Every year Open Access Week has a theme. Last year’s theme was “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge.” Nick Shockey, Director of Programs & Engagement at SPARC, explains this year’s theme “Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion”:
“Openness can be a powerful tool for building more equitable systems of sharing knowledge. Rebuilding research and scholarship to be open by default presents a unique opportunity to construct a foundation that is fundamentally more equitable. Yet today, structural racism, discrimination, and exclusion are present and persistent in places where openness is a core value. As a global community, it is important to understand that the systems and spaces of the present are often built upon legacies of historic injustice and that addressing these inequities is a necessity.
We need to examine who these spaces and systems are designed for, who is missing, who is excluded by the business models we use, and whose interests are prioritized. As we work together to rebuild these structures, we need to commit to moving from conversations to concrete commitments and to hold one another accountable for making real progress.”
How can I learn more about Open Access?
There are several resources available to learn more about Open Access. Here are a few:
- Open Access by SPARC
- The SPARC website explains the basics of Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data
- Paywall : the business of scholarship
- A documentary (65 minutes) about open access scholarship vs for-profit academic publishers
- The Right to Research Coalition
- Explore why Open Access is important towards different demographics: students, researchers, doctors, patients, etc.
- Making the Choice: Open Access vs. Traditional Journals
- Learn how one researcher chooses between Open Access vs traditional journals when comparing visibility, cost, prestige, and speed.
- Open Access Directory
- A wiki with several more resources about Open Access to learn yourself and teach others
If you have questions that were not answered above, please use the Strauss Library’s AskUs service, or reach out to Danielle Ostendorf (Danielle.2.Ostendorf@cuanschutz.edu), Electronic Resources Librarian.