open access


Northeastern Celebrates Open Access Week: October 21-27, 2013

Posted by: Hillary Corbett


The seventh annual International Open Access Week is upon us!

What is Open Access?

“Open Access to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.

Open Access (OA) has the potential to maximize research investments, increase the exposure and use of published research, facilitate the ability to conduct research across available literature, and enhance the overall advancement of scholarship. Research funding agencies, academic institutions, researchers and scientists, teachers, students, and members of the general public are supporting a move towards Open Access in increasing numbers every year.”

SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition

Snell Library has several events planned to celebrate:

Monday, October 21
DMC Circle 2 (blue)

SPARC/World Bank Webcast

Panelists representing a diverse set of stakeholders – scientific researchers, publishers, technologists and policy makers – will examine the potential positive impacts that can result when research results are shared freely in the digital environment. The panel, moderated by SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph, will feature:

  • Stefano Bertuzzi, Executive Director of the American Society for Cell Biology
  • Brett Bobley, Chief Information Ocer for the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association
  • Michael Stebbins, Assistant Director for Biotechnology in the Science Division of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy
  • Cameron Neylon, Advocacy Director for Public Library of Science

Tuesday, October 22
421 SL

Panel Discussion: Open Access in the Digital Humanities

Faculty members Ryan Cordell, Ben Schmidt, and Julia Flanders will lead a discussion on the impact of open access on humanities research and publishing, leading off with some examples from their own work in digital humanities:

Ryan Cordell will talk about “Building With/Building On” and his use of open-access data from the Newberry Library’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, William G. Thomas’s “Railroads and the Making of Modern America,” and David Rumsey’s celebrated map collection.

Ben Schmidt will talk about the process of working in public through open-access research methods and publications like the Journal of Digital Humanities, and will also offer perspectives on open-source and open-access approaches to code and software development that might provide models for the humanities.

Julia Flanders will talk about the tools and methods that underlie Digital Humanities Quarterly, an open-access digital journal now housed at Northeastern University.

Wednesday, October 23
90 SL

Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

Join us to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of under-represented groups in local Boston history. This hack-a-thon style drop-in session will focus on editing and updating Wikipedia pages in a group setting. Bring a laptop and a power supply, and go on a tour of Northeastern’s archives and special collections. More information available here.

And on Friday, October 25, Snell Library will be playing host to several of the DPLAfest’s open workshops – see the full schedule here.

All Open Access Week events are open to the public (photo ID required to enter Snell Library) and refreshments will be served.

Posted in: Library News and Events, Scholarly Communications


White House Announces Wide-Reaching Open Access Policy

Posted by: Hillary Corbett


On Friday afternoon, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum containing some pretty big news (PDF): all federal agencies with annual research or development expenditures over $100 million must develop policies that will ensure public access to the results of the research activity that they fund.

The White House has twice previously invited comments on the topic of open access to federally funded research, and in May 2012 an online “We the People” petition gathered in only two weeks the 25,000 signatures required to get a response from the Obama administration (the petition currently has over 65,000 signatures). John Holdren, President Obama’s science advisor and director of the OSTP, issued that response on Friday, linking to the memorandum prepared by his office and saying, “The Obama Administration agrees that citizens deserve easy access to the results of research their tax dollars have paid for… [and] is committed to ensuring that the results of federally-funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community.”

You may have heard about the recently proposed Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act, aka “FASTR.” It’s the successor to the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) legislation that was first proposed in 2006 but has never been voted on by Congress. FASTR, if it passes Congress, would legislate open access to federally funded research, but given the length of time FRPAA languished, that’s certainly not guaranteed to happen quickly. However, the OSTP memorandum directs these federal agencies to start preparing their access policies immediately, with a deadline of six months for implementation.

What does this mean for researchers?

If you receive research funding from one of the federal agencies covered by this directive*, your published articles and, in some cases, research data will need to be submitted to an open access repository within 12 months of publication. While it’s too early yet to know the specifics of how each agency will choose to comply with the directive and at what moment their policies will go into effect, it’s not a stretch to assume that the new policies will probably look a lot like the NIH’s Public Access Policy, implemented in 2008, which requires funding recipients to deposit their articles in PubMedCentral. (In many cases publishers assist with the deposit process. You can read more about the NIH policy on our website.) As a result, your research results will reach a vastly wider audience, including all American taxpayers.

*An incomplete list of these agencies from John Wilbanks includes: the Environmental Protection Agency; NASA; the National Science Foundation; the Smithsonian Institution; and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, the Interior, State, and Transportation. It isn’t yet clear whether the National Endowment for the Humanities is included. I’ll update this post when more information is available.

Further reading:


Posted in: Scholarly Communications


Open Access Week Breakfast with David Weinberger: Thursday, 10/25!

Posted by: Hillary Corbett


Don’t miss the keynote event of Open Access Week! Join us tomorrow morning from 8:00-9:30 a.m. for continental breakfast with our special guest speaker. David Weinberger is an American technologist, professional speaker, commentator, and a senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for the Internet and Society. At the Berkman Center, David writes about networking knowledge and the effect of technology on ideas, business and society. He is the author of Too Big to Know, Everything is Miscellaneous, and Small Pieces Loosely Joined, and a co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto.

Open Access Week Breakfast with David Weinberger

When: Thursday, October 25, 2012, 8:00-9:30 a.m.

Where: Cabral Center, West Village F

All are welcome!



Posted in: Library News and Events


Open Access Week: Wednesday, October 24

Posted by: Hillary Corbett


Today’s Open Access Week event is an opportunity to hear from representatives of Open Access journals. We’ll have speakers here from BioMedCentral and SAGE Open, and I will be providing information on the Public Library of Science (PLoS). This will be an excellent opportunity for researchers on campus to learn more about Open Access journals and gain a better understanding of how they compare to traditional, subscription-based journals.

The event is at noon in 90 Snell Library – pizza will be served!

Posted in: Library News and Events


Open Access Week: Tuesday, October 23

Posted by: Hillary Corbett


Today’s Open Access Week event is a webcast of a talk at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard: “How to Make Your Research Open Access (Whether You’re at Harvard or Not).” The speakers are well-known in the world of open access – Peter Suber and Stuart Shieber of the Harvard Open Access Project, the Berkman Center community, and the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication . They’ll be discussing the Harvard Open Access policies and presenting concrete steps for how authors can make their work Open Access wherever they may be.

We’ll be streaming the webcast in the DMC AV Circle 1 (the one with the matrix wall), from 12:30-1:30 – feel free to bring your lunch, we’ll be serving cookies and beverages!

For the full schedule of Open Access Week events, visit

Posted in: Library News and Events