Osgoode Digital Commons: Readership Snapshot


February 2019

In the month of February, the Osgoode Digital Commons had 35,292 full-text downloads and 72 new submissions, bringing the total works in the repository to 22,768.

Osgoode Hall Law School of York University scholarship was read by 2,271 institutions across 172 countries.

The most popular faculty publications were:

The most popular collections were:

Osgoode Digital Commons: Readership Snapshot

Last month, the Osgoode Digital Commons had 40,261 full-text downloads and 105 new submissions, bringing the total works in the repository to 17,256.

Osgoode Hall Law School of York University scholarship was read by 2,472 institutions across 172 countries.

The most popular faculty publications were:

The most popular collections were:

Osgoode Digital Commons: Readership Snapshot

October 2018

Last month, the Osgoode Digital Commons had 39,867 full-text downloads and 105 new submissions were posted, bringing the total works in the repository to 17,156.

Osgoode Hall Law School of York University scholarship was read by 2,807 institutions across 181 countries.

The most popular faculty papers were:

The most popular publications were:

8 Things You Need To Know About Open Access

Open Access Week 2018 is here! The international celebration of open access (OA) will run from October 22nd-28th. This year’s theme is “designing equitable foundations for open access”. What does this theme mean? To me, it means spreading the word far and wide on some core OA concepts, which will hopefully translate into inspiration and engagement with OA initiatives.

And so, with knowledge sharing in mind, here are 8 things everyone should know about OA.

1. What Is Open Access?

Graphic from PHD Comics

Open access refers to the availability of scholarly literature. Peter Suber (Director, Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication) has provided a great definition of OA in his book Open Access (the MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series, 2012):

“Open access literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.”[1]

2. Open Access Options

Graphic from the SDSU OA LibGuide

Some authors find green OA intimidating to embark on. Why? Prior to self-archiving, authors must make sure the publisher’s copyright and licensing restrictions permit the submission of their work to OA repositories. In some cases, these policies can be confusing, difficult to find, or non-existent.

At Osgoode Hall Law Library we can provide support with this. Get in touch with our Digital Services Assistant for more information.

3. Save Your Post-Prints

Graphic from AUT OA LibGuide.

A paper goes through three version stages during the publishing process.

Each paper version allows authors to take different actions it terms of achieving open access via self-archiving.

Post-prints/accepted manuscripts usually remain under the author’s control, which means they are free to submit them to open access repositories.

4. The Author Addendum

Graphic adapted from Cornell University Library LibGuide

In order to have the freedom to further develop and disseminate their work, authors must retain some rights by negotiating their publishing contracts.

The Canadian SPARC Author Addendum is a tool that can be used by authors to negotiate with publishers the retention of their author rights, such as the right to share and reuse their work, including making their work available to all via an open access repository.[2]

5. The Tri-Agency Policy

Graphic from the McGill Tri-Agency Administration Guide

The Tri-Agency Open Access Policy states that all publications resulting from grants awarded by the three Agencies must be made freely available to the public no later than 12 months after its publication.

There are two options for complying with the policy: publishing via Gold OA or Green OA as discussed in point #2.

6. Benefits Of Open Access

Graphic from the Australian OA Strategy Group

Here are just a few of the benefits of publishing in open access:

  • Increased visibility of scholarship
  • Greater discoverability of scholarship
  • Higher metrics
  • Greater potential for collaboration
  • Retention of author right

7. Open Access Journals Quality

Graphic from the OA Academy

Authors are often perplexed by the reputability and prestige of OA journals. There are several easy to use online resources to help you choose a quality OA journal.

The Quality Open Access Market (QOAM) directory lists OA journals that have received quality scoring via academic crowd sourcing. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists high quality and peer-reviewed OA journals. The bepress legal scholarship journals page lists primarily North American OA law journals.

8. Open Access As Part Of The Whole

Graphic from ECU Libraries Open Educational Resources LibGuide

Once a single entity, open access has in recent times brought forth the emergence of several related categories that are now steadily growing into their own initiatives[3]:

  • Open science: applying the principle of openness to the entire scientific research cycle.
  • Open data: making data freely available online.
  • Open education: making educational resources and practices freely available online.
  • Open notebooks: online live-sharing of primary research records.

There we have it! The 8 core concepts about open access that everyone should know. Armed with this knowledge about OA and what it can do, I hope you feel inspired to incorporate this practice into your academic publishing activities and share your work with your scholarly community, with the public, and with the whole world.

For questions or help with any of the above, please reach out to the Library’s Digital Services Assistant.

[1] Suber, Peter. Open Access, Cambridge, MA: the MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series, 2012.

[2] SPARC. Author Rights & the SPARC Author Addendum. Retrieved on October 18, 2018 from http://www.carl-abrc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/CARL_Guide_Cdn_addendum_EN_2019.pdf.

[3] University of Toronto Libraries. Open Access. Retrieved on October 18, 2018 from https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/copyright/open-access.

Libraries Celebrate Open Access Week with screening of “The Internet’s Own Boy”

York University Libraries will celebrate International Open Access Week from Oct. 20 to 26. Open Access Week is a global campaign that promotes open access as an ideal for the dissemination of scholarship and research. On Oct. 24, to reflect this year’s theme “Generation Open,” the libraries will host a movie screening and talk by Carys Craig, renowned copyright scholar and associate dean research and institutional relations at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Osgoode Prof Carys Craig

Osgoode Prof Carys Craiig

Professor Craig shares the enthusiasm of the global campaign. “I’m delighted that York University Libraries is celebrating Open Access Week. This is truly one of the most important social movements of the digital age, and one in which universities like ours have a vital role to play.” Open Access Week serves to highlight the successful realization of viable and sustainable business models for open access scholarship, particularly in the science, technology and medicine disciplines, and also provides an opportunity to identify, discuss and address barriers to adoption. The ultimate goal is to ensure that publicly funded research is available to the public, and that all global citizens have equal and barrier-free access to the wealth of the educational commons, regardless of their economic means.

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz

The Internet’s Own Boy is a documentary highlighting the extraordinary life of Aaron Swartz. A key author of the RSS standard at the age of 14, Swartz was also a tireless advocate against censorship, co-founding the Demand Progress organization, which successfully halted SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) legislation from coming into force. In the course of his pursuit of public access to academic research, Swartz was apprehended for a mass downloading attempt of JSTOR holdings. Facing excessive punitive charges from a regime determined to make an example of him, he took his own life.

The screening will be introduced by Prof Craig. “This powerful documentary is not just a tribute to Swartz’s life and legacy, but is also a call to action for all of us.”  As author of Copyright, Communication & Culture: Towards a Relational Theory of Copyright Law (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Press, 2011), Craig asks people to broaden their view of copyright beyond its tradition of possessive authorship to allow space for collective communication with the broader community with an eye for the greater public good. In her work, she calls on people to reimagine copyright and to correct the imbalance that Swartz fought to bring to the attention of the public sphere. Her insights will foster a nuanced and deeper appreciation for the causes Swartz so bravely hoped to further, highlighting the tragedy of his loss.

Open Access & Legal Scholarship

Open access is an important thing to think about whenever you are creating or consuming scholarship.  And it’s not important just because it happens to be Open Access Week.

Richard A. Danner talks about the importance of legal scholarship in his article, “Open Access to Legal Scholarship: Dropping the Barriers to Discourse and Dialogue.”

“Legal scholarship is written to discuss, explain, and analyze the law, and to point researchers toward pertinent authorities in the sources of ‘public legal information’ identified in the Declaration on Free Access to Law and issued by legislatures, courts, and other bodies with law-making power, the sources. This literature supports and influences the professional work of judges, lawyers, and legal scholars, and explains the law to the public.” (p. 67)

And open access was defined in the Budapest Open Access Initiative as:

“By ‘open access’ to this [scholarly] literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”

If you’re interested reading more about open access and legal scholarship I have prepared a short one-sheet bibliography for you to consult:  Open Access & Legal Scholarship: Select Bibliography.  Also see the Law Library Open Access page for more information on open access and free access to law.

And join us today outside the library at lunch to talk about open access and the growing concern around the Death of Evidence in Canada.  There may even be cookies!

Academic Publishing Under Scrutiny

In a recent post on Slaw, our colleague Ruth Bird, Bodleian Law Librarian, refers to an article in The Guardian – “Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist” – by George Monbiot. Mr Monbiot recommends that “governments should refer the academic publishers to their competition watchdogs, and insist that all papers arising from publicly funded research are placed in a free public database“, and concludes, “The knowledge monopoly is as unwarranted and anachronistic as the corn laws. Let’s throw off these parasitic overlords and liberate the research that belongs to us.”

The library and law librarians of Osgoode Hall Law School have always supported free access to law and open access in scholarly publishing, most recently in the Calgary Statement on Free Access to Legal Information. We promote Open Access at every opportunity both in the law school and in the University. Regrettably, it is unlikely that any of our governments will follow up on Mr Monbiot’s recommendations and investigate contemporary academic publishing practices.