Toward scholarly openness
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Emerging models in scholarly publishing have created new opportunities for research results to be shared online to enhance collaboration and discovery. However, academic success is often dependent upon the publication of work in traditional outlets, many of which are expensive, inaccessible, and inefficient.
In the last calendar year, more than 75 University of Iowa faculty members opted for a different route: Open Access.
Open Access provides options that make scholarly literature freely available online to accelerate the pace of discovery and create a more equitable ecology for scholars to push ideas forward without traditional constraints. Today, there is a growing community of students, scholars, citizens, and policy makers pushing to make open access the norm of scholarly communication, rather than the alternative.
Open Access Week (Oct. 21-27) marks a global opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.
In support of Open Access publishers like the Public Library of Science, BioMed Central, and PeerJ, the university libraries and the UI Office of the Provost established a fund to help researchers pay for costs associated with Open Access publishing.
“Because Open Access journals are not supported financially through traditional subscription fees, researchers are sometimes asked to share the costs in publishing in these venues. To reduce this barrier for our faculty, the Provost and the University Libraries have made funds available to support Open Access publishing,” says John Culshaw, university librarian.
Tuesday, Oct. 22,
3 p.m. 1117 UCC
Russell Ganim, director of the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, will moderate a panel discussion representing the perspectives of both authors and publishers as they discuss open access and scholarly publishing.
Panelists: Stephen Ramsay (associate professor of English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln,) James McCoy (UI Press director), Colin Gordon (UI professor of history), Brooks Landon (UI professor of English), Stephen Voyce (UI assistant professor of English.)
Mahfoud Assem, assistant professor of pharmacy, had considered publishing his research in an open access journal but hadn’t had the right opportunity until he applied for funding. His research focuses on pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine of primary brain tumors. This deadly disease affects more than 15,000 patients a year in the U.S.
“Our long term goals are to identify markers that predict outcome and to select the best treatment for patients who do not respond to classic therapies,” he says. “I published my paper in PlosONE because it covers a vast variety of topics, has high impact factor, and is the leading journal that covers major areas of biomedical research.”
In addition to prestige, other UI faculty cite wide access as a major benefit of open access publishing.
“I see the advantages of the open access journals in which I have published to be simplicity of submission, speed of review, and accuracy of the final product,” says Eric Devor, research assistant professor in obstetrics and gynecology. “This is, of course, in addition to the big benefit that your work is immediately available to anyone interested.”
Chris Diaz, the UI residency librarian for scholarly communications and collections, notes that Open Access publishing is the newest form of Open Access.
“For more than 20 years, researchers have been making their work open access through digital repositories like arXiv, PubMed Central, and the Social Sciences Research Network,” he says. “Faculty who are interested in making their work open access while continuing to publish in a traditional journals may consider depositing a copy of their work in Iowa Research Online, the UI’s local open access option."
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend this panel discussion, contact Diaz in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org.