Open Access Updates

Submitted by Alonzo LaMont on Fri, 06/21/2013 - 10:35am

The frequency of callers to the Welch Library with Open Access inquiries is on the rise. And this, my friends, is a very good thing. Specifically, callers have been interested in the Hopkins Libraries Open Access Promotion Fund.  I’m happy to report on two recent developments.  One, we have spent our allotted $50,000 funding for the JH Libraries Open Access Promotion Fund in FY 2013. Hooray! Yes Indeed! Without question, this was money well spent. The kitchen cupboard is bare. But from our end, nary a complaint can be heard. Nary a sad face can be found. And why? Because this means that news has gotten out.  That OA word-of-mouth has come your way.  Those drums beating out the Johns Hopkins News have apparently been reverberating thoughout our community. Like prairie wildfire that spreads like crazy----you found out. You heard about the OA Promotion Fund.  We’ve even put in a word or two to champion the cause. Yet, our Promotion Fund represents a minor component, a small theatrical moment, a brief interlude----in relationship to the greater landscape. The truth is that Open Access is certainly about far more than monetary benefits, it’s a philosophical shift in how education, information and knowledge can be accessed. It’s about shifting the paradigm of intellectual freedom. This freedom can’t live behind the (pay) walls of a castlekeep. It needs to breathe in the fresh air of accessibility. If you’re late to the Open Access party, don’t worry because the news is all around you.

Now, for those of you who’re wondering “How can I apply? Where can I apply? I want to apply for the Open Access Promotion Fund!” Well wonder no more ---- you CAN still apply.  We’re still accepting applications. However we won’t be able to reimburse anyone until July 15, 2013. The Fund will be replenished with the new fiscal year.

The second recent development is that we’ve dropped our membership in PLoS (Public Library of Science). They charge by the number of articles published by scholars in the institution. You see the problem. It’s particularly bad for Hopkins, but other institutions were in a similar boat. A PLoS representative informed us that they were going to drop the membership model soon because of this problem –-- because research heavy institutions were facing excessive increases in their costs. But again, we’ve turned this situation around and now…….we’re happy to announce that the monies we would have spent on this membership will be transferred to the Open Access Promotion Fund and will be available to support Hopkins scholars publishing in a much broader range of OA journals. Specifically, any peer-reviewed full OA journal. Take a look at the Directory of Open Access Journals.

And there you have it. We’re running full steam ahead for Open Access. Look for more updates and news from us. For now, we’re doing the happy dance that our first year with the Open Access Promotion Fund was such a success, and we think there’s more to come!

And here's the Happy Dance!

 

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu