Open Access refers to materials that are freely available online and that do not require payment or membership. Providing open access to materials helps to ensure a more equitable distribution of information. Open access materials may vary in quality, but many are scholarly and peer-reviewed.
Authors and creators of open access materials often waive their copyright or provide more flexible usage rights than traditionally published works. However, it is important to always check the fine print and assume that the material is fully protected by copyright unless it clearly states otherwise. If there is a Creative Commons license for the work, be sure to follow the conditions of the license.
The Jerry Falwell Library (JFL) supports Open Access initiatives in a variety of ways such as:
1. Maintaining Scholars Crossing, an open-access repository of more than 23,000 scholarly works created by Liberty University students and faculty, which have been downloaded nearly 17 million times worldwide. These materials include theses and dissertations, student and faculty journals, faculty works, and scholarly events and conferences.
2. Providing Liberty faculty and students an opportunity to publish open access journal articles in Cambridge gold and hybrid journals at no cost!
3. Linking to high-quality open access journals as well as the Directory of Open Access Journals on the Jerry Falwell Library website.
4. Becoming a member of the HathiTrust, a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries preserving over 17 million digitized items. HathiTrust offers reading access to these materials to the fullest extent allowable by U.S. copyright law.
5. Maintaining an Open Educational Resources (OER) Guide to help faculty find high-quality free open access textbooks and other materials for their classes.
6. Providing faculty and instructional designers who want to learn more about exploring, using, adapting, and authoring no-cost, freely accessible Open Educational Resources (OER) (e.g., textbooks and course packs) with free registration to virtual workshops in the VIVA Open! Advancing Open Educational Practices Workshop Series through JFL’s membership in the Virginia Academic Library Consortium (VIVA):
- Introduction to VIVA & Open Educational Practices | Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2-3:30 p.m.
- Engagement with OER Tools for Discovery, Evaluation, Curation, & Collaboration | Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2-3:30 p.m.
- Deep Dive into Design, Authoring, & Remixing | Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2-3:30 p.m.
- Including Students as Course Creators and Contributors | Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2-3:30 p.m.