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Open Access

Open access is a new paradigm in scholarly publishing.  It is an alternative to the subscription-based model, which many believe to be unsustainable.  Following the principles set forth by the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, journals make their content openly available to the public immediately upon publication. 

The cost of production in the open access model is paid for by the publisher or the author.  In our case, a combination of volunteer support and small financial donations allows us to publish without charge to authors or readers. 

Why is open access so exciting for librarians?  Because in the open access model there are no customers, only patrons and readers! Not to mention that it promotes equality in information access and relieves the growing burden on libraries from expensive subscriptions!

For a more in-depth introduction to the coming world of open access, see The Open Access Initiative Pathfinder (http://www.kristinhome.com/SJSU/IndexPage/open_access/index.htm), created by Kristin Yiotis, a student at San Jose State University.  And check out her award-winning papers on the subject:

And for the most updated information on global OA happenings check out Peter Suber's excellent Open Access News blog at http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/fosblog.html