No longer hidden behind paywalls and blocked by publishers, open access content is free, immediately available, and accessible by anyone, anywhere in the world.
Tell me if you’ve heard this before: You start an internet search on a topic for class or for your own personal research and you stumble on an article that seems perfect for your paper. You click the link and read the abstract, your excitement continually growing as you think of how useful this will be. Then you see it, “Click here to pay for instant access“.
We’ve all paid a visit to the paywall at least once in our academic careers. This invisible barrier to information has kept all of us — students, faculty, librarians alike — from valuable research and findings from across the world…unless of course you want to fork over $44 for every article.
At the library, our goal is to provide as much valuable information and research to the SU community as we can. While we do our best to provide as much access as we can, there is a lot out there we cannot purchase so we have to make difficult choices. For example, the Journal of Comparative Neurology, a highly respected, quality journal in the field of neuroscience would cost Blough-Weis Library $35,866 per year for an online subscription. That’s the price we would pay every year; when we stopped paying, you would lose access. Costs have risen for academic journals since the 1980’s as small academic publishers get gobbled up by larger companies. Consolidation has reduced competition to the point where publishers can charge whatever they like for a journal. Hence the $35,866 annual cost for one journal title.
Fortunately, faculty, librarians, academic institutions and even governments are beginning to recognize the value and importance of open access (OA) research. Each year, Open Access Week celebrates the growing movement of sharing knowledge and research openly for the benefit of the general public. No longer hidden behind paywalls and blocked by publishers, open access content is free, immediately available, and accessible by anyone, anywhere in the world. There is more momentum behind open access content now more than ever, as researchers, publishers, academic institutions and government agencies are putting their weight behind equitable access to important research.
At Blough-Weis Library, we actively support open access research and the dissemination of faculty scholarship in different ways. Scholarly Commons collects the creative and scholarly work of SU faculty and students. This not only includes published academic articles, but presentations, datasets and other forms of scholarship by members of the SU community. SU students can submit posters, theses, and other forms of research to our repository for the world to access. If you’re interested in submitting your own research to Scholarly Commons, just let us know! We also make open access content discoverable via our Search Everything tool directly from our homepage.
If you’re a student interested in submitted research in our scholarly repository, or a faculty member whose published in an OA journal or you’re simply interested in learning more about OA, contact a librarian at email@example.com to learn more.