Libraries Promote Open Access To Academic Journals [University of Minnesota]

Tyler Gieseke | Minnesota Daily | October 23, 2012

The smattering of orange garb on campus isn’t in preparation of Halloween, it’s University of Minnesota students and staff promoting the sixth annual Open Access Week . The event, recognized around the world, aims to raise awareness about the benefits of free access to online academic journals. Graduate students and University Libraries  staff will inform others about open access and a new fund that will underwrite fees for authors publishing in open access journals.

Proponents of open access highlight its role in spreading ideas to a wider audience and the advantages of free access in the context of ever-rising journal subscription costs. But critics maintain that the inherent costs of publishing can’t simply be ignored.

One way that online journals achieve open access is by shifting fees from the reader to the author, said Nancy Sims, copyright program librarian for University Libraries. If authors pay an upfront charge, their work will be free to the public. The pilot $20,000 Open Access Publishing Fund,  approved by the University last spring, will cover the authors’ publishing costs. Funding comes from University Libraries and the Office of the Vice President for Research, Sims said...