Open ac­cess to jour­nals im­por­tant is­sue

The Queens County Advance - - COMMUNITY -

This week my topic is open ac­cess jour­nals and their im­por­tance to fur­ther­ing re­search. This is pri­mar­ily an area of fo­cus for aca­demic li­braries but it is a key is­sue in mod­ern li­brar­i­an­ship. Jour­nals are nec­es­sary for schools as stu­dents and pro­fes­sors alike need them to con­duct their re­search and con­tinue mak­ing ad­vance­ments.

At present, col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties gain ac­cess to jour­nals for re­search by pay­ing sub­scrip­tions to pub­lish­ers. Many times, jour­nals are bun­dled to­gether so in­sti­tu­tions are re­quired to pay for jour­nals they may not need to get ones they want. These sub­scrip­tions can cost mil­lions of dol­lars a year.

Open ac­cess jour­nals come in a va­ri­ety of forms and styles but at their core they are jour­nals or ar­ti­cles that are free and open to any­one. These can be set up by in­sti­tu­tions through dig­i­tal or print col­lec­tions or on free, open-sourced on­line sites.

This move­ment is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant here in Canada as most jour­nal sub­scrip­tions are priced in Amer­i­can dol­lars. So as the loonie slides, uni­ver­si­ties need to make tough choices on what they can af­ford. Me­mo­rial Univer­sity in New­found­land was faced with this prob­lem in De­cem­ber 2015 and sadly had to stop their sub­scrip­tion to over 7,000 jour­nals to stay within bud­get.

This isn’t an is­sue that can be fixed to­mor­row, but it is im­por­tant to think and talk about the way in which re­search is done in to­day’s world and how ben­e­fi­cial a move to open ac­cess can be. If you, or you child, or your grand­child is en­rolled in post­sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, they can talk to their in­sti­tu­tion’s li­brar­ian about what sort of re­sources their school has for hous­ing or search­ing for open ac­cess ma­te­ri­als.

By mak­ing jour­nals open ac­cess, it means that all peo­ple can have free and easy ac­cess to im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion. Jour­nals and the ar­ti­cles in them are needed so sci­en­tists and re­searchers can use the work done by oth­ers to make fur­ther ad­vance­ments in their field.

Com­ing up at the li­brary

This Thurs­day, Aug. 3, from 6:30-8 p.m., we will be wel­com­ing re­tired Cana­dian diplo­mat Scot Slessor to the Thomas H. Rad­dall Li­brary. He will be dis­cussing the for­mer po­si­tions he held across the world and his stained glass art. Feel free to drop in and en­joy his talk.

The Thomas H. Rad­dall li­brary is open Tues­days and Wed­nes­days from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thurs­days 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri­days 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Satur­days 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun­days 12-4 p.m. and closed Mon­days.

The Alean Free­man Li­brary is open Wed­nes­days 5-8 p.m. and Satur­days 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the li­brary, you can find us on Face­book at South Shore Pub­lic Li­braries, fol­low us on Twit­ter @ss­pli­braries or check our web­site at http://www.southshore­pub­li­cli­braries.ca.

You can con­tact the Thomas H. Rad­dall branch by email­ing us at liv­er­poo@ southshore­pub­li­cli­braries.ca or by phone at 1-902-354-5270.

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