To celebrate Open Access Week 2013, from October 21-25, the librarians of Columbia University and partners from Barnard and the Union Theological Seminary spent the whole week on College Walk (and one day in the International Affairs building) talking to any and everyone about open access and Academic Commons, Columbia’s institutional repository. In just five days, over 500 people signed our petition in favor of a greater commitment to making quality research from Columbia open access and freely available. We chatted with people from many different roles and fields within the Columbia community and handed out flyers with information about Academic Commons and why open access to research is beneficial to scholars and the public.
Who signed the petition?
Schools with the greatest number of petition signers
The School of International and Public Affairs came out on top with 87 signatures. Engineering and Applied Science came next with an impressive 50 signatures. Students and scholars from fields as varied as Middle Eastern studies and medicine also signed. In fact, so many schools and departments were represented that we could not fit them all on one graph.
“I support open access at Columbia University. I believe that researchers and scholars should make their scholarly publications and the data on which they are based accessible to the public, to the extent permitted by legal and ethical considerations, through a digital repository based at Columbia University (e.g., Academic Commons) or through an appropriate alternative open-access repository.” - Text of the Columbia Open Access Petition
Open access to research will enhance the progress of scholarly communication by broadening the reach of research, both to other scholars and to the public. Increased access to high quality research can inform the practice of professionals; inspire bright young scholars; and make a real difference in developing nations. Encouraging commitment to the practice of open access at Columbia will facilitate access to world class research, benefiting the scholarly community and the public. This was the message that motivated over 500 members of the Columbia community to sign the petition.
Academic Commons as open access platform
"Academic Commons is a freely accessible digital collection of research done at Columbia University or one of its affiliate institutions, including Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary, and Jewish Theological Seminary. It is a place where Columbia-affiliated students, faculty, staff and anyone participating in Columbia events or groups can archive the digital results of their research or scholarly works and share them with the world at large.” – About Academic Commons
Another aspect of our outreach during Open Access Week 2013 was sharing information about Academic Commons (AC), Columbia’s open access institutional research repository. Anyone in the Columbia community can deposit their scholarly work into AC and enjoy the benefits it provides. Work deposited in AC is indexed by popular search engines such as Bing and Google Scholar. Authors who deposit also have peace of mind that their digital work is preserved for the long term, receive a permanent URL to their work, and get regular download reports. With more than 11,000 items and more being added every day, AC is a thriving repository that brings Columbia’s research to the world.
Authors who are committed to the principles of open access can also publish their work in one of many high quality open access journals. Columbia supports authors who wish to publish in open access journals with the Columbia Open-Access Publication (COAP) fund to underwrite publication fees that some open access journals charge.
Visit Academic Commons to peruse openly available research from Columbia scholars.
See more resources for open access at Columbia here.