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Open Access

An open access primer for faculty and students at Loras College

Open Access - Which Side Are You On?

Seven Reasons a Loras College Professor Should Care About Open Access

  1. Traditional subscription journal prices are increasing, while funding for library collections is decreasing.
  2. The number of Open Access articles has increased 111.5% between 2005 and 2009.  It is estimated that the 191,851 Open Access articles published in 2009 represent 7.7% of the total number of scholarly articles published that year,1 and this number is expected to rise significantly, with Open Access Gold level articles anticipated to comprise 50% of all scholarly journal articles between 2017 and 2021.2
  3. Scholars not affiliated with institutions that subscribe to traditional databases—especially those in countries outside of the United States—may not be able to access important scholarship, especially articles published in journals with high subscription fees.
  4. Many studies on the impact of Open Access have shown that publishing articles in Open Access journals leads to more article downloads, as well as an increase in citations.2
  5. Federal grant funding institutions such as the NIH and the NSF are now instituting Open Access mandates.  In addition, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is considering an Open Access policy, for which large academic institutions such as Harvard and MIT have expressed support.
    1. NOTE: Anyone can submit recommendations for the National Science and Technology's Task Force on Public Access to Scholarly Publications here
  6. Large, prestigious academic institutions such as Harvard, MIT, and Princeton have all publicly expressed support for Open Access through explicit policies (see links in bullets 5 and 6).
  7. The model of scholarly publishing, in which professors donate their time and expertise—often at the expense of their home institutions—to write, edit, and review articles, only for their institutions to then have to pay significant sums to then get access to their research is becoming increasingly unsustainable.

1 Laakso M, Welling P, Bukvova H, Nyman L, Björk B-C, et al. (2011) The Development of Open Access Journal Publishing from 1993 to 2009. PLoS ONE 6(6): e20961. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020961

2 Lewis, D. W. (2012). The inevitability of Open Access. College & Research Libraries, 73(5), 493-506.

Open Access and Liberal Arts Colleges

Journal Subscriptions at Harvard

Subject Guide

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Heidi Pettitt
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