The theme of this year’s International Open Access Week, which runs from 23rd-29th October, is “Open in order to…”. This year the focus is on thinking about possibilities are opened up by making research outputs open access.
Win a £30 Amazon voucher: follow the library’s Twitter account @sgullibrary to enter our competition on this year’s OA week theme “Open in order to…” – tell us why you think ‘Open’ is good. (For terms and conditions, and how to enter, see the end of this post.)
Here are some reasons why research is made “open in order to…”
…improve public health
Breakthroughs in medical science are frequently in the news, but the research publications underpinning the headlines are often locked away behind a publisher’s paywall. For example, the research article referred to in this recent article from the BBC is currently only available to subscribers to the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and many publications cited in the recent award of the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry and Physics are not publicly accessible. By contrast, a recent study by SGUL researchers on meningitis in children was published in an open access journal, meaning that the full article can be read by anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time.
Open access research allows anyone who is interested to read and evaluate the research for themselves. This might include:
- Medical professionals wanting to improve patient care;
- Members of the public wanting to learn more about a condition they have;
- Journalists wanting to report more accurately on the story;
- Policy makers;
- Researchers whose institutions don’t subscribe to the journal the research is published in, or who are operating outside an institution.
Opening up research helps improve public health by increasing access to academic research.
…raise the visibility of my research
Studies1 have consistently shown a citation advantage for open access publications over closed access ones. Depositing your work in a repository increases the avenues by which your research can be discovered, as well as helping readers to follow your research from paper to paper more easily by collecting them all together.
…enable global participation in research
Making research open enables all researchers to access it and removes the financial barrier for those working in less well funded institutions, as well as independent researchers working outside institutions. Making your data and publications accessible for free and licensing it under terms which allow for reuse means that other researchers can pick up on and build on your research, benefitting the global research community as a whole.
…find new collaborators
Making your work open helps researchers on related topics find it and identify possibilities for collaboration. Open access can also promote cross-disciplinary working by making it easier for researchers to access work outside their own discipline.
1 The Open Access Citation Advantage Service, SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Accessed 19 October 2017
How to enter:
Terms and Conditions:
- The competition will run from Monday 23 October 2017 until Sunday 29 October 2017.
- The prize draw is open to anyone with a valid SGUL ID.
- Winners will be chosen from all valid entries once the competition has closed on Sunday 29 October 2017.
- Winners will be contacted via Twitter. Be sure to check your account.
- The prize can only be collected in person from St George’s Library on production of a valid ID card.
- Prizes must be collected within two weeks of notification.
- The Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to.
- Photos of the prize winners will be taken to be used in publicity on Library media channels.
- One prize winner will be selected, unless the prize is not collected by the deadline, in which case the uncollected prize will be reselected (once only).
- Your tweets may be reused by St George’s Library for future promotional or informational purposes.
- Entries must contain the hashtag #openinorderto and must tag the library’s Twitter account @sgullibrary.
To find out more about open access, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Library open access webpages.