Open Access (OA) is all about sharing research freely and openly. There is a moral principle or spirit behind OA which states that publicly funded research should be openly and freely available. What that comes down to for the average researcher, is that a copy of a research paper should be placed online as soon as possible after publication or completion with no restrictions on who can access, view or download it. In this way OA bypasses current obstacles to access such as the prohibitive cost of journal subscriptions that exclude most people from viewing research.
Open Access as a movement has been around for a number of years but support has grown significantly in the UK over the last few years for two reasons:
Open Access policy at Exeter
The University of Exeter is proposing to support and promote the green route (via the institutional repository) to open access as its default, standard route (open freely to all) to achieve free public access to peer-reviewed published research papers and peer-reviewed conference papers published in conference proceedings as part of its response to meet new requirements for Open Access from research funders and HEFCE.
Exeter will be introducing an institutional mandate (via Senate in March 2013) so that, over time, the deposit of research outputs in the repository becomes a routine part of research practice for all Exeter’s researchers, with the full support, training, advice and guidance of the Library. In the Russell Group, equivalent institutional mandates are already in place in Southampton, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Durham, and in progress at Manchester and Bristol.
The institutional mandate will be supported by a full implementation plan with phased targets over a two year transition period, providing clear progression towards the institutional repository as a comprehensive gateway to the wealth of Exeter’s research outputs. This will take time – using the RCUK mantra that the transition to Open Access is a ‘journey not an event’.
For further information on how the University will be supporting Open Access at Exeter, please consult the following documents:
Find out more about the Open Access Movement
- Listen to Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of the Wellcome Trust, on why Open Access is important.
- Go Open Access, a series of short films aiming to promote wider awareness and understanding of Open Access.
- Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission on libraries, access to knowledge and Open Access.
- An interesting 23 minutes video presentation by Stevan Harnad, a leading exponent of Open Access.
- Stevan Harnad’s open access web pages.
- An interesting set of web pages from the Open Citation Project on the effect of Open Access and downloads on citation impact.
- The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) section on Open Access.