After next week, students performing research may find it easier to get it published at Virginia Tech.
Neylon, the director of advocacy at the Public Library of Science, is going to be speaking to students and faculty from Monday until Wednesday about biology, physics and the importance of open access information.
Brian Mathews, the associate dean for Learning and Outreach and the leader of the Distinguished Innovator in Residence program, saw that Neylon would be a good fit for the program and the libraries.
"It helps us, on the innovation side ... to think about how we might contribute to foster improvements," Mathews said.
While separate from the University Libraries, Mathews recognizes the use and potential of open access resources in the scholarly field, and how it can help to make connections that might have previously been slow or completely impossible.
"Open Access is basically barrier free to scholarly literature, free of copyright restrictions, free of financial barriers," said Julie Speer, the associate dean of Research and Informatics for University Libraries.
Tech currently uses an institutional repository called VTechWorks as a open access resources where students and faculty can publish their scholarly works. This includes traditional articles and papers, as well as photographs and digitized historical works, all accessible for free online.
Open Access Week is useful for students interested in the field of scholarly and scientific research, as it helps them prepare for the process of publishing work and learn about the barriers that they might face in that process, Speer said.
"It's important for students to understand these issues, ones that are actively engaged in research projects and the publishing process," Speer said.
Tyler Walters, dean of University Libraries, has long been aware of the advantages of open access scholarly resources, and has been dealing with the promotion of them for 10 years.
"We're really trying to find ways to raise awareness and have a university-wide conversation about what it is, what the benefits are, and what some of the issues are," Walters said.
Compared to the traditional subscription approach, according to Walters, open access journals are easier to use, more effective, and faster at obtaining information, as subscription journals are limited behind a "pay wall." Due to this, more journals are using the open access approach.
"This new approach that makes information open and free right away deserves to be published," Walters said.
Tech's open access week will allow students to speak to library faculty about the publication process, and will have a speaker set run with it. It aims to make sure that students learn about the value of freely accessible information.
"That's our goal, to try to bring in different people from different backgrounds, whether you're talking about social web, or network designs, or anthropology. It's a way for us to bring in thought leaders from around the country, and Cameron is from the UK, so a global set," Mathews said.
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