In celebration of International Open Access Week, TRU’s Library hosted a special ‘Open Library’ event on the third floor of the House of Learning Building on Oct 22.
Students got the chance to speak with representatives from the library, the research office and TRUSU, to learn about the various services the institution offers that support open access and scholarships.
Brenda Smith, TRU’s Open Education Librarian, told the Omega that the event was held to “promote Open Access literature and publishing.”
“Libraries spend thousands and thousands, or 10s of thousands of dollars every year for access to scholarly literature and with Open Access literature it’s available for free,” she said.
“So this is encouraging students to be aware that they can get really quality open access journals… and to let them know that there is stuff that is available for free online that is there forever.”
Smith added that it is also important for faculty to understand that publishing in open access is “completely credible.”
“People are donating their time and their effort to make their information available,” she explained.
“It’s been becoming more important with grants from faculty that they have to make their stuff available on open access and publishing an open-access journal is one way of doing that.”
Smith added that one of the “cool things” about open access is that it’s “digital, free and generally free of copyright and licensing restrictions.”
“It’s still not free to produce because stuff takes money to do it but it’s way less costly,” she said.
When asked how open access benefits students, Smith said it provides them with more options to work with.
“You don’t have that barrier of cost,” she said.
“Once students have graduated, they won’t have access to the library so open access provides access to scholarly literature forever, whether they’re students or not.”
Erin May, TRU’s Reference and Scholarly Communications Librarian, added that the sole purpose of the event was to bring awareness to open access resources.
“There are lots of different portals where you can access Open Access resources,” she said.
“Like Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) for instance has the list of many reputable journals that have open access articles,” she said.
“So things that you don’t have to pay for and the library doesn’t have to pay for so that more people can access research.”
May said it is important for students and faculty to understand that when they access academic resources and avoid “hitting a paywall,” it’s the library providing resources for their open access.
Students can find Open Access Articles and research through the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) by visiting doaj.org or Unpaywall at unpaywall.org
Resources are also available at the TRU library through the Digital Commons at digitalcommons.library.tru.ca, TRUSpace at tru.arcabc.ca and Open Access guide at libguides.tru.ca/openaccess.