“International Open Access Week is upon us, and Milner Library has some ideas to help you celebrate. Defined by Peter Suber as, “Digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions,” Open Access expands access to publications, increases the impact of scholarship (by number of citations, for example), ?speeds up the rate of research, ?promotes one’s profile as a public scholar?, is altruistic, contributes to materials that can be used in classrooms, and ensures compliance with funder mandates. As a partner in university research and creative activities, Milner Library is committed to supporting Open Access initiatives.
Despite the long list of benefits associated with Open Access, obstacles to adoption persist. Most notably, publishers often charge fees to publish open access, and many scholars don’t have the funding to pay sometimes exorbitant fees. Another concern is that Open Access publishers can be associated with predatory practices or less rigorous peer-review processes. Scholars need to publish their work in venues where it will reach the intended audience. Milner Library facilitates connecting researchers to their readers in two significant ways:
The first is by hosting an institutional repository (ISU ReD) that preserves the scholarly and creative outputs of University authors and artists. ISU ReD currently hosts four peer-reviewed, Open Access journals, conference proceedings, student and faculty research, and University documents.
The second is by negotiating Open Access agreements with scholarly publishers that cover the cost of Open Access publishing for University authors. Milner Library entered into its first Open Access agreement with Cambridge University Press in 2021 and has since added agreements with Annual Reviews, Company of Biologists, IGI Global, and Taylor & Francis. Upcoming agreements, set to be effective January 2024 include Association for Computing Machinery, American Chemical Society, Institute of Physics, and Sage Publications. Recent University scholarship that has benefited from these agreements is available in ISU ReD’s Open Access Publishing Support collection.
Beginning Monday, October 23, Milner librarians will be reaching out to Illinois State authors who have published their work open access with the offer to deposit it in ISU ReD. Research shows that more (copies of) publicly available full-text means more opportunities for access and impact. For example, a recent study found that “making OA copies of manuscripts available in self-archiving or ‘green’ repositories results in a positive citation effect.” ”