Celebrate Open Access Week!

Here is my long promised post on freely accessible online research resources. And just in time for Open Access Week too!

Over the years as I’ve come across interesting online research resources that are freely accessible. Working at a small academic library it’s been advantageous to look for quality academic resources to supplement the toll access resources that we can afford. I’ve indexed (in a rather slapdash manner I’ll admit) these resources using Zotero Standalone made them publicly available at Bibliographia Electronika. They are grouped according to their general copyright status:

I’ve tagged them so they can be sorted according to their subject relevance, license/copyright status & media type (Subscribe to the RSS feed to keep up-to-date with new additions to this directory). I’ve also indexed many of these resources using an open source content management system SubjectsPlus. See the StMU Library’s A-Z List & Subject Guides.

Related to this directory is another one, bibOER, which I covered in my last post. This is a collection of Open Education Resources (OER), MOOCs, curricula & text book repositories, etc.:

  • Analysis, Commentary & News
  • Associations, Consortia & Agencies
  • Blogs & News sites
  • Guides & Directories
  • Repositories

Most of these are Open Access, Creative Commons, Public Domain, or a combination of these three. This is intended to be a clearing house, of sorts, of copyright permissive & alternative resources for teaching.

My question is, does anyone want to do something with these 2 directories? There are many resources here that are not indexed in by OCLC, EBSCO, OpenDOAR, or the DOAJ. Perhaps we in the AAAL, or The Alberta Library (TAL) could use this to set up a directory of crowd-sourced reviewed & ranked resources for academic & public libraries? It could be a valuable resource for rural and remote libraries. And there is some precedence for something like this. I recently discovered ROAD (a “Directory of Open Access scholarly Resources”). This directory is restricted to identifying online resources to which ISSN numbers have been assigned by the ISSN Network. As such it only covers materials such as journals, conference proceedings, academic repositories, and monograph series from 2014 going forward. However, 2 of its stated purposes are to “provide a single access point to different types of online scholarly resources published worldwide and freely available” and “provide information about the quality and prominence of OA resources, or at least the criteria they meet”.

The material I’ve collected in Bibliographia Electronika covers much wider range of online resources, directories and databases that aren’t necessarily assigned an ISSN. And the above ROAD purposes might serve as useful goals for a potential project. There’s lots of raw material to work with here. I figure that for starters what is needed is some IT expertise to get a suitable hosting platform up and running.

Brad Neufeldt
Director of Library Services
St. Mary’s University College Library