Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Research aggregators and OA

Heather Morrison, Open Access: Roles for the Aggregators, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, March 15, 2008.
There are important roles for vendors of aggregated databases, such as EBSCO and ProQuest, in transitioning to open access, and in a fully open access environment.

One role is increasing access to the journal's contents through indexing.

Another, related role is supporting the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). EBSCO is listed on the DOAJ's Sponsors page; CSA ProQuest and Swets are DOAJ members.

Another role for aggregators is to contribute to the economics of open access publishing; if a journal is open access, there is no reason why it cannot also be included in an aggregated database, for a reasonable fee to help support the journal.

This is a win-win-win situation. For the aggregator, this is added content at extremely reasonable fees; for the publisher, economic support and additional impact; for the library subscribers, more content accessible through one familiar, well-developed tool with lots of support such as online help guides and training.

Kevin Haggerty from the Canadian Journal of Sociology recently mentioned that EBSCO is continuing to provide support for the journal after its transition to open access, including continuing to provide electronic access to back issues, and economic support for including current content. Kudos to EBSCO for a sensible move here! ...
Comment. I have also been informed that Serials Solutions' Access and Management Service includes the DOAJ as an offered database, at no additional charge to the licensee.

But journals aren't the only content that can be aggregated in such databases: there's no reason open repositories couldn't be included as well, thus providing users access to that content through a library's OPAC.