Open access is quickly replacing what many argue is an outdated academic publishing model, dating back to the 17th century when journals were created.
Referring to peer-reviewed research that is made widely accessible to the public at no cost to the user, open access will be celebrated Oct. 24-28 at Arizona State University, and around the world, as part of Open Access Week, a global event entering its ninth year.
In the same way that the music industry has had to adapt to online streaming, scholarly journals are in the process of adjusting to the needs of a digitally connected world in which information flows freely.
“With the internet, people expect things to be accessible and available,” said Helene Ossipov, an associate professor of French in ASU’s School of International Letters and Cultures. “But a lot of what we do still, as academics, is not accessible, because you have to have a subscription to a journal.”
Ossipov is working to change that.
As chair of the Open Access Task Force at ASU, she is leading the charge in the University Senate to develop an institutional open access policy that would make it easier for ASU faculty and researchers to make their work as widely available as possible with few restrictions.
The policy would also give faculty the right to archive, at the very least, a post-print version of their journal articles in the ASU Digital Repository, the online hub hosted by ASU Libraries for the university’s knowledge creation.
While most faculty at ASU like the idea of open access and what it stands for, Ossipov says her job now is to make open access easier for faculty to implement, which is in line with this year’s theme for Open Access Week – “Open in Action” – taking concrete steps to move open access forward.
As part of Open Access Week, ASU Libraries will be hosting a panel discussion, Oct. 25, titled “Information, Innovation and People: Knowledge Mobilization as Open in Action,” which will discuss, in part, how open access will transform the way we prepare future scholars.
“This is the direction we’re moving,” said Ossipov. “Things change. It’s up to the publishers to adapt.”