Connect Your Scholarship: Open Access Week 2016

Open Access Week 2016

Open Access connects your scholarship to the world, and for the week of Oct. 24-28, the UC Berkeley Library is highlighting these connections with five exciting workshops and panels.

What’s Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of scholarship. Often, OA scholarship is also free of accompanying copyright or licensing reuse restrictions, promoting further innovation. OA removes barriers between readers and scholarly publications—connecting readers to information, and scholars to emerging scholarship and other authors with whom they can collaborate, or whose work they can test, innovate with, and expand upon.

Open Access Week @ UC Berkeley

OA Week 2016 is a global effort to bring attention to the connections that OA makes possible. At UC Berkeley, the University Library—with participation from partners like the D-Lab, California Digital Library, DH@Berkeley, and more—has put together engaging programming demonstrating OA’s connections in action. We hope to see you there.


To register for these events and find out more, please visit our OA Week 2016 guide.

  • Digital Humanities for Tomorrow
    2-4 pm, Monday October 24, Doe Library 303
  • Copyright and Your Dissertation
    4-5 pm, Monday October 24, Sproul Hall 309
  • Publishing Your Dissertation
    2-3 pm, Tuesday October 25, Sproul Hall 309
  • Increase and Track Your Scholarly Impact
    2-3 pm, Thursday October 27, Sproul Hall 309
  • Current Topics in Data Publishing
    2-3 pm, Friday October 28, Doe Library 190

You can also talk to a Library expert from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Oct. 24-28 at:

  • North Gate Hall (Mon., Tue.)
  • Kroeber Hall (Wed.–Fri.)

Event attendance and table visits earn raffle tickets for a prize drawing on October 28!

Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Library, and organized by the Library’s Scholarly Communication Expertise Group. Contact Library Scholarly Communication Officer, Rachael Samberg (, with questions.

Q & A with New Scholarly Communications Officer

The Library’s new Scholarly Communications Officer, Rachael Samberg, offered this overview of her work recently. Rachael joined us in late June and came from Stanford Law School’s library, where she was head of reference & instructional services and lecturer in law. Her recent presentation in the Library is available at Slide Share.

What inspires you about this new position?

The system of scholarly communication—through which research and other scholarly writings and output is created, evaluated, disseminated, and preserved—has been around for centuries, but it’s going through incredible changes now at every stage of its lifecycle. There are so many exciting opportunities and roles for the Library in helping to support and shepherd these changes—whether we are talking about promoting discoverability and recognition of our scholars’ research and writing, helping to shape funding models that will sustain scholarly communication as open and accessible for use and re-use, making data and text more available for research and analysis, disseminating and preserving emerging types of scholarly communication (like data sets, visualizations, and code), and beyond.

The UC System performs nearly one-tenth of all the academic research and development conducted in the United States, and produces approximately one-twelfth of all U.S. research publications. So, the Library’s ability to bring added visibility and provide lifecycle support for UC Berkeley scholars’ research and publishing can thus have tremendous global impact, and potentially help us shape national and international policies and practices in scholarly publishing.

What particular challenges do we face?

How do we make sure that our scholars have research and published materials available for review, use, and reuse in writing, teaching, and learning? How do we ensure that scholars can discover the information they need, and have their work discovered by others to increase their impact and promote idea exchange?

UC Berkeley is no exception to progressive constraints resulting from the fact that the books, periodicals and journals in which research findings are published (and that scholars and students need to access) are expensive and often available only through increasingly out-of-reach subscription fees. This also is a large, multi-disciplinary campus. Needs and preferences vary across disciplines—everything from how important scholars feel open access is to maximizing their scholarly impact and communicating findings, to what type of Library support researchers need for finding, using, and preserving their output. There likely will not be solutions that universally satisfy all of our scholars’ needs—so the challenges lie in being adaptive and responsive to individuals and programs, and creating tailored support and outreach across an expansive campus.

Yet, the so-called challenges are also the great fun of it! It will be immensely satisfying to help build responsive and nuanced policies to support use and access of research and collections, and promote visibility and discoverability of UC Berkeley’s scholarly output. And, besides, who doesn’t love a good, thorny copyright or licensing question in the process?

What are your priorities over the next 6-9 months?

The Library is a service organization, and support for scholarly communication will be a suite of services, too, covering scholars’ needs in research, publication, teaching, and access and use issues for library collections. I’m working on developing the program plan now, and the priorities will be to:

  • Create a website outlining services, and brimming with helpful guidance materials for researchers on all aspects of the scholarly publishing lifecycle.
  • Help develop policy and provide education regarding permissions and licensing questions for research and library collections, and use of intellectual property in one’s research, scholarship, and course materials.
  • Create and provide tailored training materials and workshops for students and faculty.
  • Provide training and updates on scholarly communication issues for library staff. (We are all scholarly communication service providers at the Library!)
  • Work towards making more educational resources open and affordable for students.
  • Foster campus engagement around open access publishing, and the UC OA policy.
  • Engage in strategic planning and analysis to help shape the scholarly communication field more broadly, to help benefit the UC Berkeley community and beyond.

Whew! There’s a lot going on even in the short term. These priorities necessitate a significant amount of outreach and intake, so you’ll likely see me running around campus to meet with people and offer workshops and support.

Post contributed by:
Damaris Moore
Library Communications Office

Open Access highlight: SF homeless youth

Man with backpack hat viewing street scene

Researchers from the School of Public Health conducted a 6-year study of increased mortality rates among homeless youth in San Francisco. Their research was recently published in PeerJ, an Open Access, biological and medical sciences journal.

A recent issue of the Berkeleyan, the UC Berkeley campus newsletter, highlights the study, “Six-year mortality in a street-recruited cohort of homeless youth in San Francisco, California,” by Colette L. Auerswald, Jessica Lin and Andrea Parriott.

Committed to rapid review and fast publication of research results, PeerJ has an innovative publishing model that charges authors a membership fee rather than charging subscription fees to readers.

Because the UC Berkeley Library has an institutional membership, when a paper by a Berkeley author is accepted for publication in PeerJ, the Berkeley Library will automatically pay the cost of a Basic Membership for each Berkeley author. That membership allows authors to publish one PeerJ article every year, for life, for free.

Funding PeerJ author memberships is an example of the Library’s commitment to Open Access and increasing the impact of UC Berkeley researchers for the benefit of all.

Post contributed by Margaret Phillips, Education Librarian, Gender & Women’s Studies Librarian & Elliott Smith, Emerging Technologies Librarian, Bioscience and Natural Resources Library