Open Access

Open Access

Diane Fulkerson (University of South Florida Sarasota‑Manatee, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch480

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In 2002, thirteen early leaders of the open access movement signed the Budapest Open Access Initiative. This early initiative called for free and unrestricted online availability of scholarly materials. Their goal was to create new open access peer reviewed journals that would be accessible by anyone with an Internet connection. In the United States the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) is one of the leading proponents of open access publishing. SPARC advocates for free and immediate access to scholarly materials on the Internet. Open access as defined by SPARC and others is the ability to download, copy, read, print, share or link to scholarly materials without paying a fee for the material. In recent years, there have been a number of initiatives to make scientific research open access but the publishers want restrictions on what materials can be readily available on the Internet.

Last year a group of scholarly journal publishers opposed the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). Passage of the legislation would have provided open access to scholarly articles from federally funded research. The legislation is stalled in Congress and in February of 2013, the Fair Access to Science and Research Technology Act (FASTR) was introduced in Congress. This pending legislation would make articles written about federally funded research readily and freely accessible online. It would promote and accelerate innovation and scientific research by making the articles available through open access. Several organizations including SPARC, the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) are supporting the legislation.

The Directory of Open Access Journals is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has over 9000 journals and over half of them are searchable at the article level. Currently there are almost 1.5 million articles. The journals are from 120 countries and cover subjects ranging from agriculture to technology. You can search by keyword at the article or journal level. An advanced search option provides users with the ability to search in all fields or by title, ISSN, author, keywords, abstract or publisher. While the number of articles and journals may be smaller than many databases it provides users with access to scholarly resources without having to purchase the article.

A literature review provides a broad perspective on the issues surrounding open access publishing. The articles focus on not only author needs and requirements but also the impact for the publishing industry. Another focus of articles found in the literature review is the growth of institutional repositories. Scholars and students want access to the latest and best scholarship without paying sizeable fees for the information. Publishers on the other hand want to maintain their profits and copyright to the scholarly materials they publish. An issue raised in some of the articles was the quality of the journals and their impact on faculty to achieve tenure if they publish in open access journals.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Rights Management: Part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 is technology embedded into ebooks, and other media that prevent the user from making unauthorized copies or limits the number of pages they can print from an ebook.

Copyright: Legislation to protect the rights of the creator of an original work. Copyright prevents unauthorized use or reproduction of original works without permission of the creator of the work.

Open Access: Immediate and free online access to scholarly publications and the ability to use the publications in a digital environment.

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