It’s easy for students to take the amazing information resources available through the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences for granted. Like blue skies and fresh air, they just seem like something that’s always been there. But a panel discussion, hosted recently by University Libraries as a part of Open Access Week, was an important reminder of the continuing battle to make sure public information is free and or as cheap as possible.
When the U.S. government funds research through the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation, the researchers usually publish the results of their work in professional journals. But subscriptions to professional journals are costly. Academic libraries buy the journal subscriptions and offer students free access, although they can't afford to subscribe to all the journals. Celebrating Open Access Week was an opportunity to talk publicly about what it takes to see that the public actually has access.
“You can make the argument that the public pays for information to be produced and we need it to conduct our business and make informed decisions about how we expect our government to proceed and so transparency is important,” said Jon Wheeler, University Libraries data curation librarian. Continue>>>