Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
From October 18 - 24, the Brock community has joined the worldwide academic and research community in celebrating Open Access Week. Open access, the principle that scholarly information should be available to readers immediately, free-of-charge through the internet, is a growing movement across the world. Increasingly, research funding agencies are embracing the principle that publicly funded research should be easily accessible to the public. Agencies in the UK, US and Canada (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, for example), have an expectation that researchers will publish their findings via open access channels such as journals and repositories.
With the launch of the Brock E-Thesis Pilot Project, graduate students in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences will be contributing to an important open access initiative. By submitting their “born digital” theses to Brock's Digital Repository, these students will gain greater exposure for their scholarly work, and will contribute to raising Brock University’s research profile. "This project represents a significant development for Brock's graduate community," notes Barbara McDonald, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Liaison, "it will help prepare the next generation of scholars to function effectively in a digital scholarly environment."
Rebecca MacPherson, a PhD candidate in Applied Health Sciences, is the graduate student representative on the project committee. "The committee recognized the importance of having a student perspective on the work and flow of submitting a thesis," she says. "It will make a significant difference to the access that colleagues and collaborators from around the world will have to students' theses. And, since students are already very comfortable using electronic communication, establishing policies and procedures that are practical and effective will make the process easy and efficient for students."
Open access is compatible with conventional scholarly dissemination practices such as peer review and copyright, and emerging research demonstrates that articles published in open access formats have a citation ‘advantage’ because they are more easily cited than articles behind subscription barriers.
Visit: http://www.brocku.ca/library/about-us-lib/openaccess to learn more about Brock's Open Access Week activities and please see: http://www.brocku.ca/graduate-studies/current-students/e-thesis-pilot-project for more information on the E-Thesis Pilot Project.
Barbara McDonald, Associate University Librarian (Collections & Liaison)
Gail Pepper, Director of Graduate Studies