This week October 21 – 27, 2019 is Open Access week, an international event celebrating and promoting openness in research.
This year’s theme is Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge (1). This goes beyond calling for open access to research, and asks whether we’re supporting equitable participation in research. It’s an opportunity to reflect on whose interests are being served by current modes and systems of open access, and which voices are being left out of the conversation.
We’ll be using the library’s twitter account (@sgullibrary) to retweet interesting articles and blogpost all this week, as well as adding to the conversation ourselves – look out for more posts here on the library’s blog.
Who needs open access?
The basic principle of open access and open research is about ensuring that no-one is prevented from accessing research findings because they, or their institution, can’t afford to pay to access researchers work. This is especially important in health sciences, as clinicians, patients, policy makers, charities and so on all have an interest in accessing up to date health research, but may not be able to afford to subscribe to all the articles and journals they need. Earlier this year, the BMJ posted two pieces calling on researchers to remember doctors in developing countries (2), and to remember patients (3).
How to find open access research
To find open access articles you can use these tools:
- CORE is the world’s largest collection of open access research papers.
- Download the CORE browser extension “One-click access to free copies of research papers whenever you hit the paywall” (requires Google Chrome or Chromium).
- Unpaywall also indexes open access content.
- You can get the unpaywall browser extension (requires Chrome or Firefox).
How does SGUL facilitate access to our research?
We have our institutional repository, SORA. Our researchers can upload their accepted manuscripts via our CRIS system and then, publisher policies permitting, we can make these full texts available via SORA, meaning that anyone with an internet connection can access them, even if they’re behind a paywall on the publisher’s website.
We also help researchers to access funds to pay to make the final published version of their work openly available immediately on publication: see the Open Access Publishing FAQs for more, or get in touch via email@example.com
Our Research Data Repository is available to help SGUL researchers make available research outputs that aren’t traditional publications: not just research data, but poster presentations, source code, and more. Anything deposited will be given a digital object identifier (DOI), a long-lasting reference to the output, helping it to be easily found and cited. We can also help researchers with their data management plans, and with managing their data across the research cycle. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
What can you do?
This Open Access week, here are some things you can do to help promote greater access to health research:
- Upload your accepted manuscripts to the CRIS so we can make them available via SORA.
- Think about whether you have research data or other outputs you can make available: see our page on Research Data Management for things to consider.
- Start a conversation with your colleagues about open research: is there anything you can do to help other researchers build on or access your research? Have any other researchers made their data or other outputs available that could help you in the research you’re doing?
Any questions? Get in touch with us
- email@example.com (for questions about the CRIS and making your research publications available via SORA)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (for questions about publishing open access)
- email@example.com (for questions about research data and other types of research output)
We look forward to hearing from you.
Michelle Harricharan, Research Data Support Manager
Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant
Jennifer Smith, Research Publications Librarian
- Shockey, N. Theme of 2019 International Open Access Week To Be “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge” [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 21]. Available from: http://www.openaccessweek.org/profiles/blogs/theme-of-2019-international-open-access-week-to-be-open-for-whom-.
- Murthi, M. Open access: remember doctors in developing countries. BMJ [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 21]. 365: l2255. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l2255.
- deBronkart, D. Open access: remember the patients. BMJ [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 21]. 365: l1545. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l1545.
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