UA GPSC Adopts Pledge to Support Open Access

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UA GPSC Adopts Pledge to Support Open Access

Graduate and Professional Student Council & University Libraries
May 20, 2015

In an effort to move the campus forward in ensuring free, immediate online access to scientific and scholarly articles, graduate students at the University of Arizona have endorsed Open Access as the preferred method for scholarly communication on campus. The move adds momentum to efforts by the University Libraries to advance broad access to all scholarly research, and particularly UA-created research.

Approved by GPSC on April 22, 2015, the pledge commits graduate students to furthering Open Access (OA) on the UA campus through ongoing education, engagement, and awareness about the benefits for researchers, students, and the community. GPSC overwhelmingly supported the pledge for the ability of OA to: 

  • Improve the educational experience
  • Democratize access to research
  • Advance research
  • Improve the visibility and impact of scholarship.

In signing the Student Statement on the Right to Research, GPSC joins an international alliance of 75 graduate and undergraduate student organizations representing nearly 7 million students, including those at Arizona State University, Cornell University, Tufts, and University of California, San Diego.

According to Sarah Netherton, GPSC President, “unrestricted access to high-quality research is essential to students at institutions like the University of Arizona.” Netherton further notes that graduate and professional students “are acutely aware of access to research, or lack thereof. We are excited about the Open Access movement and what it means for the future of academia as well as practice in our respective fields.”

Dan Lee, Director, Office of Copyright Management & Scholarly Communication, recognizes the impact this move could have on the OA movement on campus. “This step by GPSC is an important affirmation of the principle that access to information advances discovery and improves education,” Lee notes. “We look forward to working with Graduate and Professional students to promote UA scholarship through archiving and providing broad access to their publications in the campus repository.”

GPSC joins UA faculty in recognizing the impact OA has on access to scholarly research. In 2014 a Faculty Senate OA Task Force was charged with exploring how faculty might act in order to expand access to their scholarly and research outputs. In addition, the University Libraries advance OA through open repositories, such as the UA Campus Repository, the adoption of open educational resources, and the ongoing availability of the OA Publishing Fund.

More information on the University of Arizona’s Open Access initiatives can be found here: http://www.library.arizona.edu/services/faculty/scholcom/issues.html.

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