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Events planned for Open Access Week, Oct. 18-22

At universities, research centers, and libraries around the world, a revolution is brewing, and next week, we’re going to shout about it. Open Access Week (Oct. 18-22) is a time to call attention to the need for public access to scientific and technical research.

At K-State, these events are planned for all students, faculty, and staff:

  • Open Access Week Open Forum
    2-3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, second floor of Hale Library
    Presentations by Michael Wesch (associate professor in Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work), Christopher Sorensen (distinguished professor of Physics), Dale Askey (associate professor in Hale Library), and Danny Unruh (K-State student body president)
  • The Beauty of Some Rights Reserved: An Introduction to Copyright, Publishing and Creative Commons
    2-3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, Hemisphere Room, Hale Library
    Presentation by Molly Kleinman,  special assistant to the Dean of Libraries and former copyright specialist, University of Michigan


For decades, research results have been communicated almost exclusively through commercial publishers, commonly in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles. A single journal subscription can cost libraries thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars per year (a subscription to Journal of Comparative Neurology is more than $27,000 per year). Such high costs have severely limited the number of journals that libraries can afford to receive, which, in turn, limits access to important research, a large portion of which is funded by taxpayer dollars.

Positive actions

The Open Access movement is exploring ways to make this research more readily available.

  • The proposed Federal Research Public Access Act would require all federally funded research to be made publicly available within six months of publication.
  • A similar requirement for research funded by the National Institutes of Health was signed into law in 2008, but has met with resistance from some publishers.
  • Worldwide, more than 130 funding agencies and universities require researchers and faculty to make their research freely available to the public.

Access is typically provided by authors depositing their work in an open-access repository, such as the K-State Research Exchange. Many publishers allow authors to place a copy of their work in such a repository, although some completely restrict this practice.

Another approach is for publishers to make all their articles publicly available, and the Directory of Open Access Journals lists more than 5,000 journals exploring this as a business model.

Visit the K-State Libraries’ Talking in the Library blog for more information on Open Access Week, and come to the events listed above.