from the Library of Maura

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Open: 1; Closed: 0

May 3rd, 2009 · 2 Comments

Many librarians are big fans of open access publishing. There are lots of reasons for this, but that’s a post for another day.

This morning I added yet another mark to my academic journals scorecard on the open access side (vs. a closed, subscription-based model). You might have heard a story in the news a couple of weeks ago that suggested that the use of Facebook by college students is correlated with lower grades. A PhD student at Ohio State University presented the results of this study at the American Educational Research Association meeting in San Diego, the media picked up on the story, and suddenly it was national news.

This week’s issue of First Monday, a longstanding open access, peer reviewed journal, includes a paper that purports to refute the abovementioned study, a response from the OSU researcher, and a response from the paper’s authors. I highly recommend these articles — they’re a great read.

I know that this is nothing new in science-related fields, in which open access journals facilitate rapid dissemination of research all the time. But this is the first time that I’ve seen it happen in the non-science disciplines with which I’m much more familiar. And while I admit that I find the refuting research to be more plausible, I’m most excited to see the current discussion and debate over these studies, discussion made possible by the open, accessible nature of the publication format.

Score 1 for open!

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