8 things many grad students (and profs!) don’t know about open access


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Presentation given by Heather Piwowar on Open Access panel at NEDCC's "The Tectonics of Digital Curation: A Symposium on the Shifting Preservation and Access Landscape" conference in May 2010. I had just graduated with my PhD earlier that month, and gave this presentation wearing my mortarboard.

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8 things many grad students (and profs!) don’t know about open access

  1. 1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/linkwize/926334421/
  2. 2. 8 things many grad students  (and profs!) don’t know about  open access Heather Piwowar Department of Biomedical Informatics University of Pittsburgh 
  3. 3. They don’t know how many people can’t read subscription journals • small schools, govn’ts, companies • developing countries • big schools! prestigious schools! without that domain focus • big schools! prestigious schools! with that domain focus • their future selves
  4. 4. They don’t know there are high quality open access journals • spectrum, just like subscription • increasingly more high-impact options • increasing ways to represent article- level impact rather than journal impact important
  5. 5. They don’t know that publishing open access has personal advantages • more visibility • more citation, reuse? • shows they are willing to take risks, break new ground • often more cutting edge, web 2.0 • being part of the solution feels good
  6. 6. They don’t know that publishing open access may help their libraries • idea that subscription rates, in theory, are lowered to reflect author-pays income
  7. 7. They don’t know they can afford it • many open access journals are free • many offer discounts or waivers • ask twice! • many grants, departments, or institutions have money available • institutional repositories are free
  8. 8. They don’t know there are many kinds of “open access” • OA gold journals • OA options in traditional journals • “OA options” in traditional journals • institutional repositories • lab or personal websites • preprint servers like Nature Precedings
  9. 9. They don’t know that all kinds of open access are not equal • definitive version • discoverability • convenient access • long term preservation • openness for commercial uses • openness for reuse
  10. 10. They don’t know how to initiate the conversation with collaborators • props as conversation starts • department sponsored seminars • success stories
  11. 11. They don’t know how to help advocate • offer learning lunches for dept • contribute to online catalogs of journal policies • organize/participate in OA week • liaison for institutional IRs? • help with OA policies in institutions? important
  12. 12. What can we do? • education • before first paper written • during first paper decision-making • after first paper published • expertise • direction for enthusiasm
  13. 13. Scholarly publication is changing. Options, policies, tools, opportunities, evidence are changing. Many scholars aren’t keeping up. One way to address this is to educate our grad students. If they know the latest and greatest, then they can bring these voices into collaborations. Unfortunately, I think training programs don’t know where to add formal coverage of these issues, and don’t know feel they have the expertise. We in this room can help.
  14. 14. Hi everyone. Today I’m going to make some brief comments about open access by thinking about grad students. I think if we want open access to continue growing as an idea and a practice, if we want it to continue gaining traction, one approach is to focus on grad students. Why grad students? Because there are so many of them! They are everywhere! They are supposed to be trumpeting weird and threatening ideas They get excited and passionate While they may not be the decision makers on most publication decisions today, they will be the decision makers ten years from now. And if we keep our OA education of grad students up to date, in the techtonic, plate shifting reality that is OA, the new ideas will keep seeping in to collaborations. Finally, They aren’t supposed to know everything yet. They are willing to admit they don’t know everything yet, and they are willing to learn. In that vein, I think they also serve as a useful foil for others in out institutions and disciplines and domains who are less willing to admit they don’t know things, and haven’t been keeping up. So let’t do a quick runthrough of