Sunday, October 26, 2014

Celebrating OpenAccess with uOttawa

OpenAccess Week
Recently all across the globe people have been celebrating OpenAccess week. This year marked the eighth annual OpenAccess  week and took place from October 20th to the 26th at locations all around the world. The event brought together a wide array of academic and research professionals to discuss the current state of open access. Through events they seek to raise awareness of open access  and open access initiatives going on worldwide and explore ways of to make knowledge accessible for the world. OpenAccess week events highlight new technologies, policies and other matters surrounding open access to find ways of revolutionizing the distribution of knowledge.

What is Open Access?
For those not familiar, open access is an initiative to spread knowledge worldwide by giving free unrestricted online access to a number of educational materials. Generally this consists of scholarly journals, but in the recent years there has been a greater push to include entire books, theses and other scholarly material amongst the institutions taking part in open access initiatives. Being able to share all of this valuable information is useful not only in developing parts of the world, but it also enables scholars in developed countries to more quickly and freely exchange information to help push research forward. This also allows authors to keep their original copyrights, increase the visibility of their research and have a greater impact worldwide. A wide variety of institutions are taking part in open access work, with the major ones being colleges and universities worldwide.

Open Access at uOttawa
One of the many benefits of OpenAccess.
To highlight some of the innovations and successes that the open access initiative has been trying to achieve we'll take a look at one particular initiative at the University of Ottawa. uOttawa has been very involved in open access, but it goes beyond just hosting their own OpenAccess week events. The University of Ottawa has several initiatives including an author fund, open journal hosting and uoResearch, where students and faculty can submit theses and research for open access. The author fund is an interesting concept where the University pays to have the research of graduate students, faculty members and postdoctoral fellows disseminated in open access journals. Many journals that support open access have to charge fees in order to be sustainable, so the University of Ottawa has set up a fund so that each year researchers can receive funding for up to two publications in order to make them freely available. Another benefit of this initiative is that any research funded in this manner is also placed into the uO Research repository. Most faculties at the university are covered and the fund also covers books and book chapters for up to $2,500 per publication. So far over 280 articles and book chapters have received funding and you can view these publications here. Publications cover a wide variety of subjects and topics including medicine, engineering, psychology and other science and arts fields.  Feel free to check them out, because as we've mentioned this is all open access, so start exploring today!

For further information on open access initiatives at uOttawa check out:

Open access week:

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