Mason Celebrates International Open Access Week, Oct. 24-30

Posted: October 25, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: October 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

The following information was provided by University Libraries.

If you think that publishing and economics have nothing to do with you, think again. All who conduct research — of any sort, at any level — have been directly or indirectly affected by the exorbitant costs of subscription-based scholarly journals. Perhaps you once discovered a source that perfectly met your research needs, but your library did not subscribe to the journal that contained the full-text article. How frustrating! This stymies rather than encourages research.

Many journal subscriptions cost more than $10,000 per year, making it impossible for educational institutions, among others, to provide their researchers with all the materials they need. As the sole point of access, publishers enjoy remarkable profit margins. For example, from 2007 to 2008 Elsevier made a profit margin of approximately 31 percent, compared to Starbucks’ 10 percent. The paradox is that as sharing information becomes easier, access to that information is increasingly limited.

What is the solution? Open access to scholarship.

The open access movement is a global initiative promoting the free, immediate availability of scholarship and research data via the Internet.

To find out more, please join University Libraries for Research Unbound through Open Access, a panel discussion on publishing in open access journals and other web-based venues, as well as some economic aspects associated with these publishing models.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 26, on the Fairfax Campus in Research Hall, Room 163, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. A Q&A will accompany the discussion. Light refreshments will be provided.

Featured speakers on the panel are Omar Al-Ubaydli, Mason assistant professor of economics; Daniel Cohen, Mason associate professor of history and director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; Robert Schatz, North American sales manager for BioMed Central, the Open Access Publisher; and Joseph Serene, treasurer/publisher for the American Physical Society.

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