Nearly 30 students, researchers, and staff stopped by the Office of Scholarly Publishing, Copyright & Licensing (OSPCL) table in Lobby 10 on Wednesday set up to celebrate the eighth international Open Access Week. About two-thirds were MIT undergraduates and grad students who hadn’t previously heard of open access.
Students who attempted a quiz question won a prize: an MIT Libraries t-shirt or the book Open Access by Peter Suber, a leader of the open access movement. (Other giveaways included MIT Libraries pencils and key chains, OA literature, and Halloween candy.) The most common response to the question, “Where can anyone, anywhere find research articles by MIT authors?” was, resoundingly, “Open Access!” (A good answer, though we were also looking for: DSpace@MIT, the digital repository that houses scholarly articles, theses, and other MIT content.)
Issues that particularly resonated with students were that increasing journal subscription prices are shutting out large numbers of readers around the world; that open access is way to democratize scientific research; and that through the Faculty Open Access Policy, MIT researchers have made more than 13,000 scholarly articles freely available online.
This is the second year the OSPCL has run an information table for Open Access Week.