Open Access

The topic this week was open access and open educational resources. The first thing that struck me was Peter Suber’s response during his interview when he said that open access cannot solve all our problems because it is not universal access. The other problems that still remain are: filtering and censorship, language limitations, disability limitations and the fact that only 50% of human beings have internet access. Knowing about all these issues only makes open access options more logical to me. We all should start small by controlling the things that we can control. My small library is making a big effort to help inform faculty about open access and open educational resources. If they see the valuable options that exist out there, or that are needed, perhaps they will be more likely to use them and contribute their work to the public as open access publications.

The second thing that struck me was from the Suber reading on page 19 when he quotes the Budapest Open Access Initiative stating that technology, through the internet, has allowed for the public good of open access publishing. One of the most positive things about the internet is that information can get to people at their point of need. The story of Gardner Campbell meeting Claudia Ceraso because he asked a question into the Twittersphere reminds me of this as well. The internet has allowed us not only to phone a friend but to ask the world audience a question and they can respond instantly! Open learning and open access reflect this new way of thinking and working. It invites others to please come in, contribute and help build something better, together. Therefore, in today’s technology environment, it only makes sense to do what we can to encourage open access in order to enable wide spread collaboration which I believe will produce better research and better work products.

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I am currently a research and user experience librarian at Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach.

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