Sunday, October 23, 2011

Open Access Week message (from / for the British Columbia Library Association)

Open Access Week starts on Monday, October 24!

A list of local events  is available on the BC ELN website, at:

Did you know?

BCLA was one of the first library associations in the world to endorse open access.  In 2004, the BCLA membership unanimously endorsed A Resolution on Open Access, drafted and put forward by the BCLA Information Policy Committee. Text of the resolution can be found here:

The BCLA resolution was the inspiration for a similar resolution adopted by the Canadian Library Association in 2005.

By endorsing this resolution, BCLA's members facilitated participation by BCLA in national policy discussions in this area of critical importance to libraries (particularly academic libraries). As one example, BCLA spoke in favor of open access in the consultation process that led to the development of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's (CIHR) Policy on Access to Research Outputs. This policy requires grantees, recipients of Canadian public funds, to make the peer-reviewed results of their research publicly available within 6 months of publication. This ensures  that Canadians (and everyone) benefit from research funded by the Canadian taxpayer.

Staffers at federal agencies such as CIHR have pointed out the importance of having bodies such as BCLA speak out for the public interest in consultations such as these. Those who benefit financially from systems that lock down research for their private benefit have money to lobby for their interests. Even when our politicians and public servants fully understand the public interest, our voice is essential as a counterbalance.

For a recent overview of open access from a Canadian perspective, see Devon Greyson's article "Open access and health librarians in 2011" in the open access Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association, at:

A happy Open Access Week to all! If you are participating, please consider writing up a summary - complete with pictures - for the open access BCLA Browser!

Hope to see many of you at the next IPC event - Out of the Shadows: the Access Copyright Tariff and the Copyright Modernization Act, on Nov. 2. See the e-mail from Carolyn Soltau with the subject "Copyright workshop" for details. I understand that the planning group is investigating the possibility of taping the event as requested by several people.

Heather Morrison
Co-chair, BCLA Information Policy Committee
& Doctoral Candidate, SFU School of Communication