At universities around the world, faculty, staff, and students require access to journals, databases, and datasets to produce research. Currently, this access often comes at a hefty price to university libraries — a price that many cannot afford.

Access to journals is typically heavily restricted to those currently affiliated with a university that has paid for a subscription. In many cases, researchers would not even have access to their own published articles in journals once they leave a university.

The open access movement calls for public access to research — not only to alleviate financial burdens and access concerns at universities, but also for public good. Providing free access to research improves education, advances scientific discovery, and distributes knowledge to underfunded areas, including developing countries.

Open Access Week, Oct. 24-30, is an international celebration of the benefits of open access. Virginia Tech’s University Libraries will host events all week long that promote open access, evaluate its implications for society, and highlight services that help people publish freely accessible research.

Selected events include:

  • Ubiquity Press: A Platform for Open Publishing
    Monday, 10-11:15 a.m. in Newman Library 207A

    Brian Hole, CEO of Ubiquity Press, will present and demonstrate the Ubiquity publishing platform. Founded by researchers at University College London in 2012, Ubiquity Press is an open access publisher of peer-reviewed academic journals, books, and data. Journal editors and those interested in starting a new journal will find this session of interest.
  • For the Public Good: Research Access and the Promise of Open Access (Forum)
    Monday, 6:30-8 p.m. in Torgersen 1100

    As a land-grant university, Virginia Tech is committed to research that meaningfully engages with the vital concerns of our day, such as feeding, building, and empowering a healthy world. How does Virginia Tech’s commitment to engagement fit with the Open Access (OA) vision for unrestricted online access to scholarly research? Have OA journals, public repositories, and federal mandates made a researcher’s life more complicated or could OA be the key to unlocking research impact on a global scale? And what are the implications for tenure and promotion? A panel of faculty and graduate students will interact with the audience to discuss how open access to research fits with Virginia Tech’s mission as a land-grant university.

  • Access to Research in South Africa
    Wednesday, 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Newman Library Multipurpose Room (Room 101)

    Researchers at Virginia Tech are accustomed to access to peer-reviewed research, but what is access like in other parts of the world? Join visiting librarian Veliswa Tshetsha from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to learn about the challenges of accessing research in South Africa.

For a full list of events, please see the Open Access Week schedule. All events are free and open to the public. Faculty, staff, and graduate students may receive credit for these events through Networked Learning Initiatives.

Parking is available at the Squires Student Center and Architecture Annex lots along Otey Street. Before 5 p.m. on weekdays, a valid Virginia Tech parking pass is required to park in these lots. After 5 p.m., a Virginia Tech parking pass is not required. Find more parking information online, or call 540-231-3200.

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