Open Access Library
Open access is about the democratization of information developed to raise public awareness by enabling unlimited free access to the knowledge created through research. This notion of creating public access to knowledge has been one of the long held ideal of many libraries. The aim of any library is to support learning and research by providing free and easy access to world’s knowledge. During the print age, this goal was achieved by making sure that people had access to all of the print resources purchased by the library. With the advent of internet age, there emerged a new possibility of gaining free and unrestricted access to scholarly literature.
The concept of open access has been extensively supported by many individual libraries and library organisations. Numerous library organisations have participated in the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) and extended their support to this movement. The initiative says that “Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.” Since its initiation, The Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL.net) has been an advocate of the open access movement and was one of the original signatories of the BOAI.
In 2003, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) with its broad membership of over 1700 library associations, institutions, and individuals across the world issued a statement on “Open Access to Scholarly Literature and Research Documentation” and expressed support for open access on behalf of all its members. In the statement, “IFLA affirms that comprehensive Open Access to scholarly literature and research documentation is vital to the understanding of our world and to the identification of solutions to global challenges and particularly the reduction of information inequality. Open Access guarantees the integrity of the system of scholarly communication by ensuring that all research and scholarship will be available in perpetuity for unrestricted examination and, where relevant, elaboration or refutation.”
In addition to promoting open access resources the same way as other resources, most libraries are also involved in educating the faculty and students about open access system through web sites, newsletters, campus forums, flyers, and blogs. Thus, libraries play a major role in transforming the scholarly communication system and continue to be strong promoters of open access resources, open access books and monographs, and other free online journals. Although the transition to open access has minimal or no monetary gains, the impact created by wider dissemination of scholarly journals on the scientific community would still be an invaluable achievement.
An open access library provides a compilation of thesis through open access mode, for various forms of research and studies under a multitude of subject areas. A library is composed of books published on a variety of subjects. The precise norms and standards of open access differ from one publisher to another, and hence each library has its own set of specifications and offerings.
Authors and editors are mostly charged to get their works published under the open access model, and an open access library of books stocks publications for the referral benefits and research needs of a number of students, academicians, and even professionals in their respective fields. It has been reported that many librarians have started open access initiatives, or have moved to the open access mode by signing declaration of the library.
All open access libraries play a bigger role in the contemporary knowledge sharing era, as a huge number of data files and institutional records have to be protected against manipulation or theft, rather than just deposit Open Access Articles and content. The open access library operations carry a huge associated cost, which in turn is of benefit to the reader in form of free borrowing or subscription.
The authors of the open-access books follow the principles and standards that are demanded by the accepted norms for publishing books. The society publishers, academicians, researchers, and individuals are still in debate as to the modus operandi of open access books.