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Cornell Conference on Open Access Scholarship


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Cornell's DSpace, an online digital archive administered by Cornell University Library to make university scholarship freely available, offers new options for the university's scientists and scholars with the creation of "communities" for every department on campus. Departments can use these repositories for archiving and sharing both formal and informal "publications", including preprints and post-prints; data files; out-of-print books for which access is still needed; documents, audio and video of workshops and conferences; departmental histories; image databases; teaching, research and outreach resources; and special events, such as public lectures, according to J. Robert Cooke, Cornell professor of biological and environmental engineering and chair of the University Faculty Library Board, who has for several years been an advocate of open-access publishing.

Faculty and department representatives were invited to a half-day workshop to learn how the DSpace repositories will work and to discuss possible uses.

Speakers included Sarah Thomas, university librarian, and Paul Ginsparg, professor of physics and information science and founder of the e-Print Archive. Separate faculty panels discussed open-access publishing in the physical and biological sciences, social sciences and humanities.

The workshop ran from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, May 9, in Philip Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall.

Traditionally, university scholars and scientists have submitted their work for free to professional journals, which publish the work and charge universities a fee to have copies in their libraries. Since the advent of the Internet, a number of academics, including Cooke, have argued that there might be a better system: have universities bear the fairly small cost of publishing their own faculty's work online and make it freely available to everyone. As an early step, Cooke created the Internet First University Press, which currently makes available in DSpace a variety of books and multimedia presentations created by Cornell faculty and staff.

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