Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More on the student campaign for OA

Jennifer McLennan, New SPARC Campaign Engages Students on Open Access, ARL Bimonthly Report, No. 256, February 2008.  Excerpt:

...The student dedication to “open” was first made clear to us [at SPARC] when Students for Free Culture at New York University designated their annual regional meeting to open access, and invited SPARC, Public Library of Science, and Science Commons to speak. The messages from the speakers were familiar, but the excitement and engagement of the audience—and the views they had to offer—were completely new. We expected the meeting to be an introduction to open access for students, instead it turned into a learning experience for us on the depth of the student commitment to making open sharing of information habitual—for everyone.

The potential that students clearly embody for shaping the future of scholarly exchange and the growing level of student activity throughout 2007— as well as the hire of the first SPARC summer intern— inspired the genesis of the SPARC student campaign and companion guide: The Right to Research: The Student Guide to Opening Access to Scholarship. Developed in close collaboration with our student colleagues, the guide is a tool they will use to engage more of their peers.

Specifically, The Right to Research:

  • helps students recognize the problem of access, saying they shouldn’t have to skip over research that could be important to their papers;
  • introduces the principle of open access (OA), making a clear distinction between the principle and the ways OA is being realized—through OA journals, repositories, and copyright management;
  • indicates how open access can make life as a student easier, advance research, widen access to those who need it, and increase visibility for student scholars;
  • offers ways to support OA that pertain both to graduate students approaching publishing decisions and to undergraduates who want to take up the OA banner.

Please join us in inviting more students to the conversation on access. Visit the SPARC students Web site.

Jennifer adds new details in the January issue of the PLoS E-Newsletter for Institutional Members:

The Right to Research is introduced on the heels of several student-centered SPARC initiatives, including: the December 2007 SPARC Innovator Profile, which highlights five student leaders as Agents of Change; the first Sparky Awards for best videos illustrating the value of information sharing; and the SPARC-ACRL forum at ALA Midwinter, which focused on student engagement.

The Public Library of Science has been a key ally for SPARC in the conception and realization of the student engagement initiative. We'd like to extend thanks to everyone at PLoS for their support, especially Donna Okubo, Liz Allen, and Gavin Yamey....

PS:  The Right to Research web site will launch later this month.