As it is the last few weeks, our supervisor has allowed the class to focus on topics that we feel are relevant and current within the library field. This week the topic is “Cost of Information” with focus on the current debate “Open Access”. Here myself and three classmates organised the content for the class and presented the research to them.
The readings focused on how this is seemingly the solution to the cost in which libraries have to pay for journal subscription. This solution being the Finch Report in 2012, two options arose and were named “Green Open Access” and “Gold Open Access”.
This debate gathered pace as the results of the Finch Report became apparent, that Gold had been favoured. So first what is Open Access, it seems self explanatory Access to Information that is Open to everyone. However when you get to the bones of the subject it can become very dense.
So, Wikipedia! Oh my what is a librarian (well potential librarian) doing using Wikipedia to source Information? To give the basic no frills look at Open Access. “Open access (OA) is the practice of providing unrestricted access via the Internet to peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles”.
As part of my piece within the presentation I focused on Green Open Access, here I argued the positive aspects of this option and how in general Green and Gold need to be taken into context. Academic Universities need to be aware of the solutions that are available, however they need to enter into a dialogue with all the disciplines they collaborate with.
The incentive for change is slow, as this debate keeps going in circles. Steven Harnad shows how this debate can seem to wander in circles, and each side has it’s own flaws.
The presentation was a success, as we opened the debate to the class to see how each side shone through, Gold did have a lot of advantages and one can see how. Green tends to hide behind the banner that says “FREE” but this is a fallacy as there is always going to be a cost. The change that needs to happen is to remake the model that is currently effecting libraries and to seek a way to help them from ever declining budgets.
These are issues that we will all be facing as we move into the sector of librarianship, we may not just yet have to make these big decisions but we can become part of the dialogue that is currently making its way to us.
Only 1 more week left in college, with this many decisions are going to be made, this blog for one will adapt and change the new direction this summer will take towards my Capstone project!
Onwards and Upwards!