By Lacey Palmer
Published: Wednesday, November 2, 2011
West Virginia University Libraries are celebrating International Open Access Week.
During this week, libraries around the world make a concerted effort to address the benefits of open access –the free availability of journals, theses and dissertations on the Internet shared for education.
Molly Dolan, a librarian for WVU Digital Projects and Scholarly Communications, said the University continues to support the movement to promote electronic materials in hopes that everyone will have access to educational documents for free one day.
"The WVU Libraries have been long time advocates of open access, and through WVUScholar, we seek to make the scholarly work produced by our graduate students and faculty available at no cost to the world at large," Dolan said.
WVUScholar is an institutional repository that allows free access to the University's collection of research.
John Hagen, Institutional Repository Program coordinator and Electronic Thesis & Dissertation Program Chair, said WVU Libraries strive to promote open access and scholarly communications within the region, nationally and all around the world, especially during International Open Access Week.
"The Scholarly Public and Academic Resources Coalition founded International Open Access Week about 10 years ago. This is a part of a movement within academia and scholarly publishing for open access to information and research," he said.
Hagen said WVU has a long history and tradition in engaging in digital library projects, and was only the second institution in the world to require electronic submission of graduate theses and dissertations in 1998.
Last week, Hagen attended a conference in Lima, Peru concerning digital theses and repositories, and gave several presentations at the conference.
"As a result of our considerable experience and my involvement with WVU's digitization efforts, I also serve on the International Board of Directors for the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)," Hagen said. "Therefore, I was invited to do some keynote presentations for the National Peruvian Symposium on Thesis and Digital Repositories."
Hagen and Dolan also attended the ETD 2011 International Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in September to present on the digital library projects at WVU.
WVU Libraries will continue to make large steps in digitizing resources, Hagen said.
The next step is gearing up for the an international electronic dissertations conference in Lima, Peru, during September of 2012.