Open Access: I’m Late to the Party

This blog is about research literature becoming completely open.

If our research literature is to become completely open by 2018 (hello—it’s 2018), then it is necessary for a lot of progress to be made with open access policies (Swan, 2013). I am paraphrasing a statement made by Alma Swan, Dir. Of European advocacy, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources coalition (SPARC) Europe in 2013. In 2013, all of this happening by the year 2018 was a real concern.

Are we there yet with the new model? From what I have read on this topic, the traditional model for research communication and the emerging model for open access communication diverge after the peer review process. From there, the publisher and owns the author’s original research literature in the traditional model, and the author and the university repository own all the rights to the original research literature in the open access model. In the traditional model, the publisher “pays the bills” including fees and manages the published article. However, in the open access model the owner maintains rights and provides a use license to a university repository for open access.

Virginia Tech does not have a comprehensive open access policy, but it does offer an open access fund, institutional repository for access and preservation of the researcher’s scholarship, a publishing service (to help faculty and students when publishing in journals and conferences and etc.) I guess we all know that there is a group at VT working on developing a better open access policy for faculty and students so that we can share our research.

So for me, the next big step is to take advantage of the VT Graduate School’s policy on electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). Any experienced users of the VT Open access policy?

I “believe” that open access is a good thing. I am personally frustrated when doing a literature review and finding just the right article to examine and learning that it is not freely accessible. Recently when working on a literature review, I tried to creatively avoid paying $29.95 to purchase the right to read and print an article because it gets costly really quick. Open access shares research literature as intended and defines embargoes and encourages authors to retain copyrights for their work. I have no idea how open access will affect the market for purchasing research literature, but I am new to the party on open access. Perhaps we should research the music industry where open access, copyright issues, and owner’s protection of intellectual property has made many advances.

Oh, I also found a nice chart in an article, that compares publishing models. Title: Open Access and Scholarly Communication – A Selection of Key Web Sites, 2005.


Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Swan, A. (2013). How to hasten open access. Nature, 495.


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