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The push for Open Access to scholarly articles has been the major focus of advocacy over the last six years of Open Access Week movement, but this year there will be a renewed focus on how publicly sharing data advances science. The White House Directive specifically focuses on the need to open access to the underlying data as well as articles. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from major thinker in this field, Dr. Victoria Stodden from Columbia University, about why this was such an important move.
As student affordability becomes a central issue of debate around the country, as well as on this campus, the need for replacements for expensive textbooks is generating a lot more interest. The average student pays $1,200 for textbooks every year, and the idea of developing alternative text materials from inside the university or referring students to materials already licensed by the libraries is attracting attention nationwide. Attendees came and heard from one of the gurus, Dave Ernst of the University of Minnesota, who spoke about the potential of Open Educational Resources and the Open Textbook Library.
While external speakers bring new perspectives, Open Access Week also serves as an opportunity to celebrate unique Purdue contributions to the movement. Dr. Mark S. Lundstrom was presented with the Open Access (Research) Award by Dr. S. Laurel Weldon, Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. Dr. Lindstrom is the Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and founding director of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN). The award is presented in recognition of Dr. Lundstrom’s leadership in creating NanoHUB, a radical departure from traditional forms of scholarly communication in nanotechnology with a strongly open access character. Annually, nearly 250,000 users in 172 countries access over 3,000 resources from more than 1,000 authors for research and education, including over 250 simulation tools.
An Open Access (Education) Award was also presented to Dr. Linda S. Bergmann by Dr. A. Dale Whittaker, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Dr. Bergmann is Director of the Online Writing Lab (OWL), which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013. Now featuring over 300 reference and instructional materials, all made freely available online, OWL has established itself as one of the premier Open Educational Resources on the web.
Also announced this year Purdue University Libraries launched a new, Open Access website with key resources, timely information and University expertise on the issues and topics related to Open Access. The website is located at: https://www.lib.purdue.edu/openaccess and provides news and resources about the Open Access movement. Most importantly, it provides information and resources about Open Access, and an easy workflow through which members of the Purdue community can use to make their work Open Access with assistance from the Libraries.