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Events at UC Merced Highlight Transition to Open Access of Research Articles

October 15, 2019

The global push to share knowledge openly, rather than keep research locked behind costly paywalls, is the focus of a series of events at UC Merced to mark International Open Access Week, starting Oct. 21.

The sharing of information is transitioning away from the decades-old model of paying to access journals, as evidenced by the University of California’s decision this year to walk away from contract talks with publishing giant Elsevier.

“It’s partly about cost, but it’s also about changing the model so that university research — often created with public dollars — is available to anyone with an internet connection,” said Deputy University Librarian Donald Barclay.

Many journal publishers long have profited off faculty research and editing for which they paid nothing, he said.

So far, UC research faculty and students have seen minimal impact from the impasse because it affects only articles published in 2019 and most articles can be accessed through alternative methods, Barclay said.

While UC was the first North American institution of its size to take such a step, “others are likely to follow,” Barclay said.

“Most scholarly research will become open access in the next five to 10 years,” he said. “It’s happening.”

International Open Access Week was founded in 2008 by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition to help build more equitable foundations for opening knowledge.

The UC Merced Library and its partners have three events planned to raise awareness of the options, opportunities and challenges of the transition to an open access world.

  • On Monday, Oct. 21, Eileen Joy, director of Punctum Books, will discuss the open-access publisher’s dedication to “radically creative modes of intellectual inquiry.” COB2 295 from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. (Open admission, details at event site.)
  • On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Dan Russell, Google senior research scientist, will discuss his new book, “The Joy of Search.” KL 232, 12:50 p.m. (RSVP’s required on the event site.)
  • On Thursday, Nov. 14, Professor Michael Dawson, editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Biogeography,” will conduct a workshop for graduate students and early career faculty entitled, “A Guide to Success in Scientific Publishing.” Half Dome 180, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (RSVP’s required on the event site.)