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Open Access means free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need. It has the potential to increase the exposure of published research, facilitate the ability to conduct research across available literature, enhance the overall advancement of scholarship, and maximize research investments.
This week – October 21-27, 2013 – is Open Access Week (#OAWeek) around the world. Each year the Open Access community unites behind this event. We asked a selection of leading voices in the community to tell us what Open Access meant to them, in about 100 characters or less.
John Wilbanks is the Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks and a Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and at FasterCures. He led a We the People petition supporting the free access of taxpayer-funded research data, which gained over 65,000 signatures.
"You have the power to change the way research is exchanged: Publish Open Access", he said. "Publishing your research Open Access advances and accelerates science."
Heather Joseph is the Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). In that capacity, she works to support broadening access to the results of scholarly research.
“The beauty of Open Access is that it is geared towards creating opportunity; it’s a totally forward-looking concept”, she said.
John Willinsky is the Khosla Family Professor of Education at Stanford University. He is the director of the Public Knowledge Project which has been working for a decade on improving the scholarly and public quality of academic research.
“Open Access is no more than another means of furthering the human right to know what is known”, he said.
Mike Taylor is a computer programmer by vocation but started to study palaeontology in his spare time in 2000. He got his Ph.D from the University of Portsmouth in 2009, and he is now an honorary research associate at the University of Bristol. He is a leading voice of OA Advocacy and blogs at SV-POW.
“Open Access is simply science done right. If it’s behind a paywall, it hardly counts as science”, he said.
Dorothy Bishop is a Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology and a Wellcome Principal Research Fellow at the Department of Experimental Psychology in Oxford and Adjunct Professor at The University of Western Australia, Perth.
“You only realize how important OA is when away from base and find you can’t access loads of journals”, she said.
Stephen Curry is a Professor of Structural Biology at Imperial College, London. He has a passion for understanding the wider role of science in society, and his writing has appeared in many leading venues. He blogs at Reciprocal Space.
“We need Open Access to make scholarly publishing fit for the world of the 21st Century”, he said. “I want Open Access to make research more accessible in both senses of the word.”
Uta Francke is currently Professor Emerita at Stanford School of Medicine and Senior Medical Director at 23andMe, a personal genetics company. She is on the PeerJ Advisory Board, and is an author on one of our earliest papers.
“Looking at it globally, Open Access is the only way to publish your work, if you want the world’s scientists to read more than just your abstract”, she said.
Andrew Farke has been the Augustyn Family Curator of Paleontology at the Alf Museum since June 2008. He is an Academic Editor for PeerJ and is actively involved in bringing paleontology to the public.
“Open Access helps me easily share my research with folks back home in rural South Dakota”, he said.
Mina Bissell is a Distinguished Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a member of the PeerJ Advisory Board. She is a world-recognized leader in the area of the role of extracellular matrix and microenvironment in regulation of tissue-specific function, with special emphasis on breast cancer.
“Open Access? This is what science should be all about and why I am so excited about PeerJ”, she said.
We thank all of these Open Access advocates for their insights, and here at PeerJ we are looking forward to a great Open Access Week. Check out this week's PeerJ presentations at Santa Cruz, British Columbia, Utah State, MIT, Stanford, Edinburgh and Oregon State.