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Open Access

A guide to open access; understanding what it is, why it's important, and what you can do.

Open Access - Beyond Publishing

Discussing open access is not limited to publishing models and researchers' final peer-reviewed work.  Open access includes the accompanying data and information essential to the research lifecycle. As outlined by the Open Knowledge Foundation, open access involves the "openness" of all knowledge to develop a robust commons for universal participation.  Terms such as "open data," "open science," and "open source" encompass the surrounding material that are vital to researchers' work.

Open Data: Each day humanity generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, with 90% of the data created in the past two years (IBM, 2013). From such a rich trove comes the power to inspire data-driven decisions and real-time information.  To openly access, share, and re-use data unlocks a wealth of knowledge.

Open Science: the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods. (FOSTER Open Science)

Open Source: Originally open source applied to the creation of computer programs. Software code was freely available to be redistributed and modified. Today, however, "open source" designates a broader set of values. Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented

Open Science

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Science and Technology Council define Open Science as:

“The principle and practice of making research products and processes available to all, while respecting diverse cultures, maintaining security and privacy, and fostering collaborations, reproducibility, and equity.”

In the United States, 2023 has been declared the Year of Open Science, a multi-agency initiative across the federal government to spark change and inspire open science engagement through events and activities that will advance adoption of open, equitable, and secure science.

The following talk gives a short introduction to open science, and an explanation of why it’s so important for our society.

U.S. funding agencies

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum, "Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research" on August 25th, 2022 directing all federal agencies to update their public access policies and require all federally funded research to be free and immediately accessible. This expands on the 2013 Memorandum, which only required certain federal agencies to provide publicly accessible research and data within 12 months of publication. The updated guidance now requires any research that receives federal funding to be freely accessible without a delay. Agencies with research and development expenditures of at least $100 million annually will submit their initial public access plan updates by February 21, 2023. Agencies with smaller research and development expenditures will have until August 20, 2023. All federal agencies must have updated plans in place by December 31st, 2025. Further guidance on this will be forthcoming, and researchers who receive federal funding may reach out to us with questions about making their publications and data freely accessible. 

Here are some resources to help stay informed.

Open Data

An illustration depicting the influence of open data within the global movement (click on image to expand).

The Open Data Movement

Support for Open Data from the Federal Government

Open Source

This video is a simple explanation of how open source projects manage change as well as the structure, roles, and terminology of open source software.

Citizen Science

Citizen Science is scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions. Citizen science ;allows everyone to contribute to science no matter where they are. Whether by asking questions, reporting observations, conducting experiments, collecting data, or developing low-cost technologies and open-source code, members of the public can use their alents to help advance scientific knowledge and contribute to a greater good. Open Access enables citizen scientists by providing greater access to scholarly content.

5 Reasons to become a Citizen Scientist!

  1. There's a project for every passion: games, history, space exploration, hiking, biology, and more!
  2. Learn new stuff!
  3. Help researchers learn new stuff!
  4. Make an immediate impact on how we understand our universe!
  5. It's fun!

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.