Shouldn’t information be open to all?
When you are surfing the Internet and looking for information, have you ever hit a “paywall,” where you are forced to cough up some money to access the full text of an article that sounds really good? If this has happened to you, you are not alone. The good news, if you are a student here at Asbury, is that you have access to many of these articles through the Kinlaw Library’s databases. However, that access often ends after you graduate, so the even better news is that scholars from around the world have started a movement to make more and more of those important articles freely available to everyone, everywhere, at any time. Making quality information freely available is also called making it “Open Access,” where paywalls or other publisher restrictions do not prevent individuals from reading or downloading articles. Thankfully many scientific articles, based on research funded by taxpayers, are now freely available, but there is a push on for even more content to be made open. The openness of articles rarely impacts the authors of the articles, or even the article reviewers, as it is the publishers who collect revenue on the articles, and authors and reviews are typically not compensated. However, as you will see in this video describing Open Access (http://www.openaccessweek.org/video/open-access-explained-1), this is not just an “academic” issue, as there can be times when valuable information needed for making life-impacting decisions is locked behind a publisher paywall. So celebrate International Open Access Week this week by becoming more aware of the need for open access, and by using resources that are already open access. You can find a whole list of those resources here -- http://asbury.libguides.com/openaccess.