In celebration of Open Access Week 2020, this is the first blog in a series of five written by the UConn Library Scholarly Communications Coordinating Group (SCCG) to explore how Open Access has impacted the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the SCCG and find more resources, see our Scholarly Communications webpage.
During a time of global pandemic some countries, publishers, and institutions are making access to research articles on COVID-19 publicly accessible. In a crisis it’s crucial that important research not be barred from use by subscription paywalls.
The emergency measures in academic libraries in response to COVID-19 have made available for the first time vast quantities of previously unavailable digital resources for research and teaching. This has demonstrated the great value and savings in time, travel expenses, and even carbon emissions that open educational and scholarly resources can make possible. The success of these temporary measures greatly strengthens the case for the expansion of Open Resources in academic libraries on both practical and economic grounds. There are major cost savings embedded in the embrace of Open Resources, sometimes not readily apparent on the balance sheet, but nevertheless indisputably demonstrable upon close examination.
Some examples of open access in this time are below. For much more information, check out SPARC Europe’s The Coronavirus and Open Science: Our reads and Open use cases.
Examples of countries working together to make research widely available:
⦁ Twelve countries’ science advisors wrote an open letter to publishers of science research content to make all research on the coronavirus and COVID-19 available for free through PubMed Central or other nationally recognized repositories. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_98016.html
⦁ The Chinese Academy of Sciences has created an online platform for distributing scientific research of COVID-19 studies. http://english.cas.cn/newsroom/cas_media/202004/t20200407_232199.shtml
Examples of publishers making research information available:
⦁ A variety of STM publishers made content about Coronavirus and Covid-19 openly available because of the pandemic: https://www.stm-assoc.org/about-the-industry/coronavirus-2019-ncov/
⦁ More than 30 publishers have made their Coronavirus and Covid-19 content available immediately through PubMed Central and other public repositories. https://wellcome.org/press-release/publishers-make-coronavirus-covid-19-content-freely-available-and-reusable
Examples of organizations making research information available:
⦁ OpenAire, a European based collaboration of partners and stakeholders, has “created a specific Community to collect all research results that could be relevant for the scientific community worldwide working on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and SARS-CoV-2.” https://www.openaire.eu/openaire-activities-for-covid-19
⦁ The Inter Academy Partnership, a collection of 140 national, regional and global member academies, have put out a communique calling for collective open action against Covid-19. https://www.interacademies.org/node/52980