Today concludes International Open Access Week — the 8th annual observance organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.  The Open Access organization defines the concept of open access to information as “the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need.”  Looking at the list of planned events, this movement seems to have more support outside of the U.S., but there have been notable steps promoting open access within the U.S.

  • Last year, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a memorandum requiring that “the direct results of federally funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community.  Such results include peer-reviewed publications and digital data.”
  • The National Science Foundation is developing a public access system to comply with this OSTP directive.
  • Margaret Heller wrote an interesting post about how libraries can encourage conversations and actions regarding open access.
  • The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) represents one of the portals encouraging open access; last month, they announced that nearly 150,000 items from the U.S. Government Printing Office are now discoverable through the DPLA.

There are still numerous lingering issues to resolve, including tenure criteria and copyright, but the discussion of open access is here to stay, so it behooves libraries and archives to figure out how to become a part of the solution.