This past Tuesday I spoke briefly at an event honoring international Open Access week. I spoke about why I value open access–here’s roughly what I said:
I value open access because it adds value to my intellectual property. Open access provides me with readers, critics, and impacts that I could not have otherwise as an undergraduate. By making my research, and my process, publicly available I can receive detailed feedback from relevant sources in my field. This is happening with my senior honors thesis. I can practice writing for a specific audience, one which is much broader than my review committee and whatever friends I can threaten and beg into attending my thesis defense. Finally, it gives my work broader impact. I can be linked to (an internet version of citation) as a resource on fanfiction–and I have.
While many people, my professors included, benefit from the current way that academic research is evaluated and decimated, I believe they are also harmed by it. I am harmed by pay walls blocking the articles I want to read; my library is harmed when it must choose between books and journal subscriptions; the academic commons is harmed when its members are forced to write on big topics for small audiences. I value open access because I value my intellectual property, and that of my peers.
PS: Open Source + Open Access = Rockage.
“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought”–Albert Szent-Gyorgyi