Queen's University

Researchers embrace open-access movement

 
2012-10-18

Queen’s researchers are embracing the international movement to provide unrestricted access to research material, experimenting with new e-journal publications and encouraging young scholars to get involved.

Biology professor Lonnie Aarssen.

“The beauty of open access is that you can experiment,” says Lonnie Aarssen (Biology). “It allows researchers to be in charge of the process of disseminating their own research, and gives them the opportunity to try out new models of publication.”

Open-access journals – which essentially give free, online access to the results of scholarly research – offer universities and researchers several benefits. Open access means a wider audience and greater access for students who perhaps can’t afford the high cost of traditional journals after they leave school. Open access has also been a boost for research communities in the developing world, where high printing costs deter the publication of traditional journals.

Queen’s Scholarly Communication Services currently hosts 15 open-access journals through Open Journal Systems (OJS), and the QSpace Digital Repository has grown to more than 5,000 items. QSpace is also the home for all Queen’s theses and dissertations.

Dr. Aarssen has launched two open-access, electronic journals over the past few years, including Ideas in Ecology and Evolution, and he plans to launch a third shortly. He is also developing Science Open Reviewed (SciOR), an online registry that facilitates the peer-review process and acts as a forum for both reviewers and journal editors. On SciOR, authors can make arrangements to have their papers peer-reviewed and editors can find the latest science articles ready for publication.

Queen’s will participate in International Open Access Week October 22-28 to continue raising awareness about open access and the issues that surround it. Dr. Aarssen will speak in a panel discussion on Open Scholarship on Oct. 22. The planned activities also include a webinar and exhibits in campus libraries.

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