OA graphic from PHD comics

Graphic from PHD Comics

Confused about open access? The image above is from an animated video explaining and advocating for open access publishing made by the (self-identified) guys at PHD Comics. It’s received over a quarter million downloads on YouTube, not bad for a video aimed at academics. You can see this video and more on the Library’s guide to open access publishing.

John Jay College’s use of CUNY Academic Works – our open access institutional repository – continues to grow. We have 23 authors. 46 items. Two languages. 1,213 hits. That’s 1,213 people that have been reached by John Jay authors, readers who might not otherwise have discovered the work or passed through paywalls to get to it. There’s enormous potential here to showcase the impressive work of John Jay faculty and increase the real-life impact of scholarly work (see “CUNY Academic Works: Get Your Work Out There!” from this issue). We have many alumni working at nonprofits and government agencies that simply do not have the money to subscribe to expensive journals – people in a position to apply the research you have so carefully gathered, analyzed and reported. Why exclude them? Please do consider posting your work on CUNY Academic Works.

Depositing your work, post-publication, in a repository (known as “green” open access) is not the only way to provide readers with free access. You can choose to publish your work in an open access journal – that’s the gold access model. Happily, there are many reputable open access journals and hybrid journals with open access option for authors. You have no doubt heard of Beall’s List of predatory journals (jjay.cc/beallslist), a good place to check the reputation of a journal. The Think Check Submit campaign endorsed by about a dozen publishing groups (including SPARC, DOAJ and Springer Nature) is putting a more positive spin on distinguishing trustworthy journals by encouraging authors to consider a checklist of factors before committing to publish.

THINK: Are you submitting your research to a trusted journal? Is it the right journal for your work?

CHECK: Use our check list to assess the journal

SUBMIT: Only if you can answer 'yes' to the questions on our check list

International Open Access week fell in October this year, and was marked by events all over the world. In NYC, some of the highlights included “Who Owns Your Journal Article: You or the Publisher?”, a discussion on author rights, copyright, and negotiating with publishers, led by Graduate Center librarian Jill Cirasella. Columbia University Libraries held a discussion on “Researcher Success: Institutions and Public Access Requirements.” NYPL hosted law professors from the Authors Alliance, who discussed how authors and researchers can manage their legal rights and choose publication outlets “with an eye on securing long-term impact and availability.” Discussions on open access are regularly held around CUNY; upcoming events are usually listed on at Open Access @ CUNY.

Ellen Sexton

More from the Fall 2015 Library Newsletter »