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Current Issues
"Current Issues" presents timely debates in the library field for educational purposes.
Rather than advocating a point of view, we strive to include multiple perspectives on controversial issues.

Open Access Publishing Debate

Open Access is a publishing model where authors and publishers provide free access to scholarly research by utilizing digital technology, thereby providing an alternative to costly subscription-based scholarship.  Open Access publishing provides scientific content to the public at no cost via the Internet.  It is a direct response by researchers, publishers, authors and librarians to the often prohibitive cost of subscriptions to print and online peer reviewed journals. Academic Libraries, including Long Island University’s, are finding it increasingly difficult to fund the fees publishers are charging for their journals.

A number of Open Access initiatives have resulted in succinct definitions and though they may be different in construction they are conceptually evocative of each other.  Among those most often cited is one that came about from the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2001:

An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds.

One of the most contentions issues related to Open Access Publishing is that authors are typically required to fund the cost of digitally archiving journal content.  Obviously, this raises a number of potential questions in the minds of the academic peers and administrators who review publications by Open Access authors during the reappointment and tenure processes, not to mention in the minds of the authors themselves. 


It is the purpose of this page to serve as a web portal to Open Access publishing.  Please utilize it as a starting point to information from organizations at the forefront of the movement and to the Open Access journals themselves.  There are also links to articles, web pages and individual postings that ague both sides of the Open Access debate, and feel free to contact the Brooklyn Campus Library for more information.


Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

“SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an alliance of academic and research libraries and organizations working to correct market dysfunctions in the scholarly publishing system.  Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change.” 

University of California eScholarship: Journals and Peer-Reviewed Series

The University of California system's institutional repository, the eScholarship Repository, hosts peer-reviewed journals, including InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies and San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science.

Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI)

On December 1-2, 2001, the Open Society Institute (OSI) called a meeting in Budapest of leading proponents of open access for scientific and scholarly journal literature. The goal was to see how far the many current initiatives could assist one another and how OSI could use its resources to help the cause.

Bethesda Statement on Open Access

The purpose of this document was to initiate discussion within the biomedical research community on how to proceed, as rapidly as possible, towards the goal of providing open access to the primary scientific literature.

Public Library of Science

PLoS is one of several initiatives that promote open access to scientific and medical literature.

U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology

In December 2003, the UK's House of Commons Science & Technology Committee launched an inquiry into scientific publications to investigate pricing, access and availability issues. Written evidence was submitted to the inquiry in February 2004, in March 2004 the inquiry began to hear oral evidence, and in July 2004 the inquiry report - titled Scientific Publications: Free for all? - was published.

The Impact of Open Access Journals-A Citation Study

Thomson ISI (a library vendor) studied OA articles in terms of citation frequency.

Pros and Cons

“Open Access is on the Way” 

Society for General Microbiology
“OA Publishing-Is it the future For Scientific Journals?” 

Nature Web Focus

The Chronicle Online (Duke University)
“Open Access Journals Debated”

Open Access Journals

Directory of Open Access Journals
Lists over 1,500 Journals in all disciplines

Full text Journals in Education
Includes links to electronic journals that are scholarly, peer-reviewed, full text and accessible without cost.

Biomed Central
BioMed Central's portfolio of over 100 journals ranges from the highly selective, general interest Journal of Biology, which publishes both online and in print, to a range of specialist online only journals [more information].

Electronic Resources in Libraries
Electronic Resources in Libraries is a community of librarians concerned with the practical aspects of managing electronic resources in libraries. The site links to a comprehensive list of OA journals.

Journal of Biology
Journal of Biology aims to provide the best possible service to authors of original research articles, and strives to achieve the fairest system of peer review, with the help of the Editor-in-Chief, a dedicated in-house staff and an Editorial Board of internationally renowned scientists.

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy
A peer-reviewed, open access journal that has been recently published.

Created by E. Keane 5/05
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