WOW-E! It’s all about access

It’s all about access.

As a major research university, Colorado State spends millions of dollars each year on subscriptions to thousands of scholarly publications. The information these journals contain is vital to the work of faculty and researchers on campus who learn from findings by and share their data with others in their field.

But what if instead of being locked up in expensive journals that take months if not years to publish, the results of all that research were freely accessible to anyone interested anywhere in the world?

That’s the concept behind the international Open Access movement, which encourages free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research and the right of anyone to use and reuse those results. Advocates argue that open access can benefit innovation, discovery, education and a better world by transforming the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted.

Some of the wild-eyed dreamers who support the revolutionary notion of Open Access include Nobel laureates, internationally respected researchers, and CSU’s own Vice President for IT and Dean of Libraries Patrick Burns.

“We can’t continue to pay for journal titles that just keep getting more expensive; the only way we can be sustainable in the future is open access,” Burns said. “There are many high-quality academic journals that have already adopted the open access model, and we will work with faculty to identify them and buy the necessary licenses so everyone can have access to their publications.”

Randy Schekman, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2013, talked about the open-access science journal that he edits, eLife, here on campus last semester, and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has made the research papers of six of this year’s laureates available for free through its digital library .

Reprinted from CSU's "SOURCE" - click here for the entire story.