Open Access... from the librarian’s point of view

Subirats-Coll, Imma and Melinščak-Zlodi, Iva and Pavelić, Damir Open Access... from the librarian’s point of view., 2004 . In Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA), Dubrovnik and Mljet (Croatia), 24-28 May 2004. (Unpublished) [Conference poster]


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English abstract

1.INTRODUCTION During the last decade of 20th century the dissatisfaction with the current situation in scholarly communication and publication has grown continuously. Although the fast development of information technology has brought the promise of instant and low-barrier access to all kind of information, including scholarly information, the reality was different. The number of online available information has risen, but their prices and subscriptions continued to rise as well. The so-called 'serial crisis' has been discussed in literature and illustrated by large amount of statistical data (e.g. ARL statistics). A number of initiatives striving to ensure “open access” to scholarly information and to bring control over publishing process back to scholars, emerged in late nineties and in the first years of the 21st century (Open Archives Initiative, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition - SPARC, Public Library of Science, Budapest Open access Initiative etc.). By 2004, these initiatives, as well as ideas they represent, became largely recognized and respected by the scientific community, and the term “Open Access Movement” is commonly used today. The solutions proposed by these initiatives were numerous, but finally two main strategies were defined: open access journals and eprint archives. 2.OPEN ACCESS JOURNALS AND EPRINT ARCHIVES Open access journals are those journals that offer their content free of charge on the Internet. Currently, there are at least 791 such journals, and they are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals – DOAJ ( These journals are quality controlled, which means that they perform editorial control and/or peer review. But costs of editorial and reviewing process are not covered from subscriptions. Eprint archives are collections of various types of electronic documents (book chapters, conference presentations, theses, technical reports, data sets etc.), but primarily peer reviewed journal articles in different stages of publishing process (from preprint to postprint). Repositories can be organized as subject based (collecting documents that belong to certain scientific discipline) or institutional (collecting the intellectual output of the whole institution). The documents are usually deposited and described with metadata by their authors (‘self-archiving’). Almost all eprint archives are compliant with Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting – OAI-PMH, and therefore interoperable. Ideas of open access are endorsed by large number of scientific institutions, whose commitment is expressed in various declarations: Berlin declaration, BOAI, World Summit of the Information Society Declaration of Principles, Bethesda Statement and others. 3. OPEN ACCESS AND LIS PROFFESSIONALS Most of these initiatives and declarations recognize important role that libraries play in promoting open access and supporting it (for instance: including open access journals in their collections and their catalogues and thus making them more visible and more accessible, developing and maintaining institutional repositories, metadata control, building additional services). But, what is the actual attitude of LIS professional towards open access? International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions - IFLA has recently taken position explicitly in favour of Open Access in its Statement on open access to scholarly literature and research documentation. It says that “IFLA recognises the important roles played by all involved in the recording and dissemination of research, including authors, editors, publishers, libraries and institutions”. It also states that IFLA supports “collaborative initiatives to develop sustainable open access publishing models and facilities including encouragement, such as the removal of contractual obstacles, for authors to make scholarly literature and research documentation available without charge”. The main intention of this poster is to show to what extent LIS professionals as authors and users have endorsed the policy of open access. Attitude of 56 core LIS journals, indexed in ISI publications, toward Open Access and self-archiving will be analysed. It will be shown that most of those journals are published by large commercial publishers (Elsevier, Emerald, Information Today, Sage Publications, Taylor & Francis), and that many of them do not support self-archiving. The subset of LIS journals indexed in ISI publications will be compared with 25 open access LIS journals from DOAJ. Only one journal is indexed both in ISI and DOAJ. Eprint archives covering LIS literature will also be analyzed. The largest one is E-LIS – Eprints in Library and Information Science, with 650 documents, mostly conference papers, journal articles and presentations (mainly in pdf, then ppt format). Other is DLIST with 100 documents, mostly journal articles, conference papers and presentations (mainly in html, pdf and doc format). It will be shown which services E-LIS offers now (search, browse) and what could it offer in the future: extended browse, webometrics (number of hits, downloads etc.) and scientometrics (citations). 4. CONCLUSION As it can be concluded from the data above, open access information provision is not yet fully embraced by LIS professionals, although LIS professionals have been among most active promoters of Open Access.

Item type: Conference poster
Keywords: open archives, open access journals, library and information science
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BA. Use and impact of information.
E. Publishing and legal issues. > ED. Intellectual property: author's rights, ownership, copyright, copyleft, open access.
Depositing user: Iva Melinscak Zlodi
Date deposited: 16 Jun 2004
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 11:58


IFLA International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. (2004). IFLA Statement on Open Access to Scholarly Literature and Research Documentation. Retrieved 25th February 2004, from


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