by Laura Soito, Associate Professor and Interim Director of Collections, University Libraries
I have published in free and paid open access journals, as well as subscription journals that allow works to be included in repositories. As a biomedical researcher funded by the National Institutes of Health, the NIH Public Access Policy mandated that versions of my works were made available in PubMedCentral. Working through tenure-track at UNM without those requirements, I tried to balance access with publishing in high-quality journals and took a pragmatic approach -- publishing in OA journals when possible and ensuring my ability to deposit works in the UNM Digital Repository was maintained when subscription journals were a better fit.
My experiences working with OA and subscription journals have been very similar – the key difference being who gains access and is immediately able to use that work when all the research, writing, peer-review, and editing is finished.
Outside of publishing in OA journals, I am interested in other ways to make research and information sharing more open. For example, identifying mechanisms for citing software to promote academic recognition for the effort to openly produce and maintain tools that are critical to advancing academic research. Considering ways that libraries and Wikipedia can collaborate to promote intellectual freedom and information access. And helping researchers to use open tools like Open Researcher and Contributor IDs (ORCID iDs) to ensure one’s works can be differentiated from others with the same name.
While outputs of the academic enterprise are gradually becoming more accessible, significant amounts of work remain behind paywalls and there is need to question and reflect upon the structures, assumptions, and processes that continue to limit wider dissemination.