Open Access Week 2012: Raising Awareness at the UA

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Open Access Week 2012: Raising Awareness at the UA

During Open Access Week, taking place this year Oct. 22–28, academic institutions around the globe explore the ideal of free, full‐text, immediate, online access to peer‐reviewed scholarship so new ideas and information can be obtained rapidly and freely by everyone. The Open Access movement seeks to address the unsustainable situation that scholars, students and society face as the skyrocketing cost of journal subscriptions jeopardizes access to scholarly works.

The Open Access movement supports removing price and permission barriers for readers so that scholarly works can have greater impact as they will be easier to find, reach a greater audience, and accelerate the pace of research. Open Access embraces new forms of scholarship that a networked electronic environment makes possible, including peer‐reviewed e‐journals, e‐books, virtual communities of scholars, thematic research collections and peer‐reviewed encyclopedias.

The University Libraries will host two campus programs during Open Access Week with the goal of raising awareness at the UA about the challenges, opportunities and scholarly and academic resources available through Open Access initiatives. The Libraries will build on the momentum created by this dialog and continue these campus conversations throughout the year.

Both lectures are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Lecture I

Many funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, and journal publishers, such as Nature, are now requiring researchers to share data produced during the course of their research. When researchers share their data, other researchers can reuse it to answer new questions, opening up new interpretations and discoveries. Sharing data may also lead to sharing research processes, workflows and tools and may make research articles and papers more useful and citable by others. In addition, many academic researchers are proponents of openly providing access to data. Both Science Commonsand the Panton Principles recommend that data be contributed to the public domain.

The University Libraries are sponsoring a talk, "The Open Data Revolution: Challenges and Innovations," where three campus researchers will speak on how they have shared data in their research and the implications of open data on the way research will be done in the future.

The talk will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Tubac Room of the Student Union Memorial Center.


  • Jennifer Barton, Associate Vice President for Research and professor of biomedical engineering, on "Open Data Challenges in Interdisciplinary Research"
  • Bonnie Hurwitz, program director of Health Informatics at the Arizona Health Sciences Center, on "Innovation in Health Care Delivery Through Open Source Research"
  • Sudha Ram, McClelland Professor of Management Information Systems at the Eller College of Management, on "The Emerging Role of Social Media in Data Sharing and Management"

Lecture II

Last winter, Fields Medalist mathematician Tim Gowers announced on his blog that he would no longer publish with, review papers for, or serve in an editorial role for the scholarly publisher Elsevier. In doing so he noted Elsevier's high prices, its marketing practice of bundling large sets of journals to libraries, and its support for legislation that would lead to restricted access to scholarly publications. An online petition went up very quickly, asking other researchers to also commit to similarly refusing to support Elsevier's practices. Currently, more than 12,000 researchers from around the world have signed on, including several members of the UA community.

To launch the University Libraries' new series of community dialogs, Scholarly Publishing Conversations, and in recognition of 2012's Open Access Week, three campus researchers will lead a discussion with the UA community about why to make such a pledge, our expectations of scholarly publishers, and what we can do at the UA to support efforts to meet those expectations.

The talk, "Scholarly Publishing Conversations: What Happens After You Boycott Elsevier?" will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 24 in the Presidio Room of the Student Union Memorial Center.


  • Brad Boyle, research associate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Chad Park, staff scientist in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • David Savitt, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics

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