Category Archives: Libraries and Open Access

Created for Open Access Week 2016, our ‘Libraries and Open Access’ blog series aims to give librarians and other library workers a space to connect with one another and discuss their thoughts and experiences with Open Access. We’d love to hear your thoughts! If you want to submit a post, send it to

Digital Scholarship, Networked Scholarship, and Other Side Effects of Open

Lillian Rigling

113-r3iysl7-north-carolina-state-university-red-app-sm[1] As an early-career librarian, I am fortunate to have come into a world of academic libraries that already values Open Access. I learned about open access in my courses and discussed it at length with my peers over coffee in the student lounge at graduate school. I had the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant with librarians at the University of Toronto, who were doing great work to advance knowledge and practice of Open Access, and I was able to participate in that work. And yet, every time I engaged in one of these conversations, I had a very clear picture in my head: a simple PDF of a journal article. Continue reading

A History of Open Access at The Royal Library of Belgium

Marie-Sophie Bercegeay

The Royal Library of Belgium : a place of history

The Royal Library of Belgium’s collections have been growing since the XVth century. Throughout its history, from the Library of the Dukes of Bourgogne to the present day, the Royal Library (its official name since 1837) has continuously built its collections by means of valuable acquisitions. With a collection of more than 7 million documents the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) constitutes the literary and scientific memory of Belgium. Besides collecting Belgian publications through legal deposit, the institution owns materials of great historical and cultural importance. Continue reading

A Few Thoughts about Open Access Books

Christian J. Burris

Electronic books, better known as e-books, first arrived in the early 1970s as wake-forest-logodigital versions of their print counterparts (Loan, 2015).  Since then, they have become an invaluable component of the publishing market as publishers and similar providers have offered e-books to consumers on a variety of platforms.  For academic libraries, electronic books have been a resource to offer specific materials to patrons at their point of need, but there have also been have been concerns about these formats (Mune, 2016).  For instance, providers have used proprietary software that requires additional effort on the part of the user in order to read them.  Also, software could be required for specific devices that could limit how a patron can access a specific item for reading purposes. Continue reading

Open Access and Content and Discovery

Sarah Davies

The University of Nottingham has a long history of supporting open the-university-of-nottingham-newaccess publishing to further extend the reach and impact of our academics’ research. It is also a global institution with campuses in the UK, Malaysia and China. Since 2014, we’ve shared the cost to help ‘unlatch’ the first two collections offered by Knowledge Unlatched. A natural extension of this was to become a Library Member of Open Book Publishers. Continue reading

The Ups and Downs of Institutional Repositories

Jo Paterson

Institutional Repositories (IR) have become a staple stackedof most academic libraries. They are generally populated by Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs
)and faculty peer-reviewed manuscripts, also known as post-prints in the parlance of green open access.

The IR managed by Western Libraries at The University of Western Ontario, Scholarship@Western, aspires to host the complete intellectual output of the institution.  It is the home to faculty articles, working papersover 25 open access journals, as well as several conference proceedings, and some digitized materials  such as photographs,  music scores, and historical university course calendars. Continue reading

Medieval Book Customisation and Open Access: a Brief (and slightly tortured) Comparison

Kyle Brady

Kathryn Rudy’s latest book Piety in Pieces, details the activities of medieval book owners who personalised their books by st-andrews-logoinserting new pages, drawings, and notes. These personalisations ranged from minor modifications such as placing loose images between leaves, or adding notes to blank pages, to larger changes that necessitated rebinding. Immediately on first looking at the book I realised that there are parallels between the way medieval people treated their books, and open access, and particularly the way Creative Commons licenced material can be adapted.
Continue reading

Leveraging Distributed Proofreaders for Open Content Enhancement (and some unexpected consequences)

Demian Katz and Laura Bang

For many years, Villanova University’s Digital Library has been providing open access tvillanova_university_logoo out-of-copyright books, journals, newspapers, and other content. From the beginning, this content was provided in the form of scanned images of the original materials, sometimes augmented by computer-generated OCR. While this approach provides an informative view of the historical artifacts and allows some degree of searchability, there are some barriers to discovery and consumption of the content. Continue reading