All entries for Tuesday 03 April 2007

April 03, 2007

Open, Open, Open… Access: getting published, discovered and read

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Open Access (OA) is about researchers getting maximum exposure for their research. What better way than to make research freely accessible to everybody?

Publishing in OA electronic journals is one way to do this. There are reputed OA journals with a high citation impact, but not every research paper is necessarily going to find a place in a suitable OA journal.

Self-archiving in a repository is another way of getting exposure. There are of course subject repositories, for subject-relevant research produced in any institution, and there are institutional repositories as well, for any research produced in the researcher’s institution.

Not all subjects will have a decent repository somewhere. So, the easiest way for researchers to get exposure for their research and therefore maximise the chances of it getting read and cited is to use the institutional repository (IR) of their employing institution.

Yes, it is as simple as that. The IR manager takes care that the repository data about the paper is optimised in such a way that makes it discoverable by those searching around the topic.

Or is it not so simple? Authors should not have to sign off their right to self-archive their research for the sake of getting published by a particular journal. The RoMEO directory allows authors to compare the copyright policies of different journals or publishers and then check directly the most updated version of the policy by linking directly to their sites.

Funding bodies are increasingly mandating self-archiving of the research they fund. A list of these is kept on the JULIET pages, besides the information of RoMEO.

Many academic researchers will also be doing some teaching. There are initiatives to provide open access to course materials.

One such initiative has coined the term Open CourseWare. An example of an institution going Open on its teaching materials is MIT:

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