As a center for scholarship and research, the University of Kansas is committed to making discoveries that change the world. But for those discoveries to have the maximum benefit for the state and society we serve, they must be shared.
That’s why KU is committed to the international open access movement and has taken a leadership role in this effort to promote the free exchange of ideas and information around the world. This is the result of work by Dean of Libraries Lorraine Haricombe, Associate Librarian for Scholarly Communications Ada Emmett, Library Director Karen Cole at the KU Medical Center and scholars across the university.
KU is co-sponsoring the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition’s first-ever Open Access Meeting, which is being held in Kansas City this week. I had the opportunity to address the group this morning and talked about the benefits of open access for scholars, universities and society, as well as the steps KU has taken to advance this cause.
For researchers and scholars, open access spurs collaboration, increases the visibility of their work, and results in greater benefits for the communities they’re seeking to help and inform. Wider visibility of research is also important to KU because one measure of a research university’s productivity is how often the work of its faculty is cited by other scholars.
For nations, open access amplifies the effects of their investment in research, which has direct benefits for their populations and economies. And for society, open access enables ideas to transcend borders and ideologies, leading the way to a more vibrant, more prosperous global community.
KU has been a leader among universities in sharing our scholarly findings with the world. In 2009, at the urging of faculty, we were the first public university in the United States to adopt an open access policy, making our scholars’ research available free online at KUscholarworks.ku.edu.
Last July, we were proud to lead the formation of the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions. KU is joined by Harvard, Stanford, Duke and Concordia University in Montreal, among other institutions, in sharing implementation strategies and advocating for open access.
And this past fall, I signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities as a reflection of our commitment to the sharing of information.
We’re currently engaged in a discussion with our colleagues around the world regarding how best to continue to expand access to research. These discussions have gained urgency in light of recent proposals in Congress to limit access to research. We’ve also seen support for open access grow as scholars protest what are seen as excessive subscription costs for some publications.
We will remain in the vanguard of this movement because open access to scholarly work advances our mission and ensures KU discoveries and innovations are shared around the world.