Trend to open access of scholarly research

Exploring the possible knowledge management benefits from open access and the PKP OJS system led me to an interesting February 2008 blog post by Michael Carroll , who teaches law at Villanova University School of Law and serves on the Board of Creative Commons. I was encouraged by his news that Harvard faculty has "increased its competitive edge by adopting a faculty resolution to grant the university a license to make faculty scholarship freely accessible online."

In brief, he cites four reasons for open access archiving:

  1. The impact of, and citations to, Harvard scholarship will increase because it is freely accessible.
  2. Harvard researchers will be able to use the rich archive of Harvard scholarship to experiment with and for a variety of purposes, including developing new research tools.
  3. Harvard librarians will get greater expertise than exists at competing institutions at developing, managing, and adding value to the university's digital library because they will have a regular flow of new scholarship to manage.
  4. Young academics should be attracted to the institution as prospective faculty members, graduate students or other kinds of researchers for the signal that this initiative sends. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences, at least, seems to get the Web.

Oh where, oh where have the faculty of other institutions gone? If you've read my last post, you are aware of my concerns over "Education 2.0" at OU and other institutions. Let's face it, education IS a business, and if we're not marketing our research, ideas, and image via modes of open access on the web, then we become victims of loss of identity, a barrier to communication and knowledge sharing, and guilty of prohibiting access to information... the VERY things institutions of higher knowledge are asked to monitor in order to expand the knowledge base of our world, decrease the digital divide, and alleviate suffering by providing access to knowledge.