What is open access?
Open access is the principle that publicly funded information should be publicly and freely available to all without paywall restrictions on reuse, remixing and re-sharing, so long as the original creator is acknowledged.
For many researchers their first encounter with open access is as a result of requirements set by funders such as: RCUK, HEFCE, the Wellcome Trust or the British Heart Foundation.
The value of open access as a societal good can sometimes seem clouded behind the necessary procedures of ensuring that funded research meets funder requirements. This means that the ethos of open access can seem less important than mastering the processes and procedures that oversee how we achieve compliance with policy.
Open access and the public good
Open access means valuing the free, accessible, shareable and transforming potential of knowledge and ideas. When we exchange thoughts with a colleague on a subject of research over a coffee, or direct a student researcher towards an author or specific published material that might be of value for their work, when we share a stimulating or ground-breaking piece of research via social media, or when we invite amateur researchers to help us to further our research with their expertise – all of these moments are embodiments of the same principles that motivate and underpin what is to be a researcher.
Furthering the cause of open access at Queen Mary University of London
The Repository and Research Information Team has established an open access advocacy network of like-minded members of the Queen Mary University of London community. The network is seeking to widen the reach of the open access message through the coordination of events, talks and articles on the wider open access agenda. If you want to get involved, you can join the email list here or contact the Repository and Research Information Team.