The University of Kansas – Open Access, Are You a Good Witch Or a Bad Witch?

KUOne year has passed since the University of Kansas became the first public university in the US to adopt Open Access policy for public scholarship. The faculty has released a newsletter in which they have decided to evaluate their practice which has now grown from the campus level and was recently celebrated on a global scale during the Open Access Week.

Close Your Eyes and Tap Your Heels Together Three Times

KU’s main campus, considered one of the most artsy in the region occupies 1,000 acres on and around Mount Oread in Lawrence. With more than 30,000 students and 2,450 faculty members, the university attains high levels of research productivity and it is the only Kansas Regents university to hold membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). Library collections on the Lawrence campus alone (not including other academic divisions), contain more than 4.2 million volumes, 3.6 million microforms, 338,000 maps, and 3.4 million photographs, slides, drawings, and cartoons. Other specialized libraries hold collections in art and architecture, dance, engineering, law, maps, and music. At the medical center, the Archie R. Dykes Library for Health Sciences and the Clendening History of Medicine Library and Museum are major resources for health professionals.

KU ScholarWorks is now a digital home for published KU research. As reported recently: “Last year, the department had just over 3,000 of its documents downloaded from the repository. So far this year, more than 13,000 have been downloaded. The downloads have been made in more than a dozen countries including the United States, United Kingdom, China, Mexico, Russia and Brazil.”

ThD Pursuit

Wizard of Oz: They have one thing you haven’t got: a diploma. Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitartus Committiartum E Pluribus Unum, I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of ThD.
Scarecrow: ThD?
Wizard of Oz: That’s… Doctor of Thinkology.
(L.Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz)

KU took seriously the mission to help more faculty and grad students understand the importance of availability of their output to anyone with internet access, and to think open access. It is written in their newsletter that “to help encourage more departments and faculty members to make their research available via open access, the libraries have identified early adopters and open access liaisons. The liaisons work with faculty within their departments to learn more about the policy and utilize the services of the library for help participating.” The information about KU Faculty Open Access policy is also available online. Presentations are made weekly to faculty and graduate students across campus to answer questions and show the benefit of open sharing of research in general and the policy specifically. “This is not just a libraries thing, it’s of direct benefit and concern to scholars and meant to be viral, to encompass all of campus,” they say at KU.

As 10 great things at KU they list the hill, the campus, the artsy downtown, the programs, the good price, international learning experience, the research, their Rock Chalk Jayhawk Kaaay-youuuuuuu chant, the Jayhawk and the basketball. We can add Open Access to research as the 11th and the Good Witch.

 

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