Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Open Access and Free Journals in OutLook OnLine: Happy International Open Access Day!

Today, in celebration of the First International Open Access Day, BC Electronic Library Network (ELN), with BC Public Library Services Branch (PLSB), have officially launched the Open Access and Free Journals in OutLook OnLine. There are over 5,000 titles in all; the majority are scholarly, peer-reviewed journals from the Directory of Open Access Journals, supplemented by other open access and free collections considered of quality and collectible by BC Librarians. Examples include: the peer-reviewed Open Medicine; the Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper, published by the Nuu chah nulth Tribal Council; the BC Grasslands Magazine, and the Caledonia Nordic Newsletter.

OutLook OnLine is a gateway to the collections of British Columbia's public and post-secondary libraries, 92 libraries in all. From my perspective as an open access advocate, this is an important and welcome moment in open access history. This is no longer just me, one of a few open access advocates. The Open Access and Free Journals collection emerges from the work of the local CUFTS Free! Open Access Collections group, which itself emerged from the enthusiasm of BC librarians for collecting open access materials. BC ELN is an innovative organization, sometimes leading-edge but never bleeding edge, and certainly not fringe. We are, rather, grassroots and responsive to our community. This initiative represents a moment when open access has clearly become mainstream.

The MARC records are freely available for any library to download, to include in local library catalogues or regional services like OutLook OnLine, at: http://eln.bc.ca/marc_dump081007.mrc.

An A to Z list of the BC ELN Open Access and Free Journals collection can be found at:

Any opinion expressed in this post is that of the author alone, and does not represent the opinion or policy of BC Electronic Library Network or Simon Fraser University Library.