Library celebrates Open Access Week with forum

Homer Babbidge Library will host a forum discussing what exactly "open access" is as well as its benefits to students as a part of Open Access Week on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s Homer Babbidge Library will celebrate Open Access Week with a forum Wednesday afternoon.

“Open access week is a global event promoting open access as a new norm in scholarship and research,” according to the library press release.  

UConn librarians will describe what exactly open access is as well as its benefits to students, faculty, the university and the library during the forum, biology, agriculture and natural Resources librarian and coordinator of the forum Carolyn Mills said.

“Open access means information is online, free of charge, with few [restrictions] around permission barriers, like copyright,” Mills said. “[Discussing open access] is something [UConn librarians] already do in [their] jobs, so it’s not like [UConn librarians] had to learn something brand new.”

The forum took about one month to plan, according to Mills.  

“The library has been moderately active in open access since 2000 or 2001…this will be [the library’s] first actual celebration of open access week, which has been going on for seven to eight years,” Mills said. “[The forum] has a very educational focus, since we want people to learn what open access is.”

Advancing open access at UConn through the forum will significantly improve the educational experience of students and faculty, Mills said.

“[Open access] helps any reader because they can get to information without paying. It helps authors because viewership [of their work] is greater and the citation rate is higher. Libraries can connect people to information regardless of their budget, and [institutes’] research can be more widely seen,” Mills said.

According to Mills, the library will continue advocating for an expansion of open access at UConn after the forum.

“Ultimately, I would love to work toward having an open access policy at UConn,” Mills said. “It can be done with time and attention, and lots of conversations.”

Further details regarding the forum and open access may be found on the library’s website.  


Alexandra Retter is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at alexandra.retter@uconn.edu.