Hi, this is Miki the collection manager. I've been talking about Open Access in my previous blogs, and you may be wondering how you can find open access journals: are they in the library? Someplace else?
Many libraries, including the Walden University Library, provide open access resources by adding a link on their library websites or including individual journal titles in the journal title search. Some are included in the databases together with subscribed titles. It is seamless, so you are probably not aware that an article you discovered for your research came from an open access journal.
Another way that some libraries link to OA resources is through an Institutional Repository (IR). An Institutional Repository is a collection of digital materials preserving the intellectual output of a single or multiple university community. Many libraries have a link to their IR through the websites. Institutions such as MIT have established an open access policy to mandate that all faculty make their publications available to the public through their IR. You can see a list of institutions with such a mandate. There are a couple of good places to look for repositories: OpenDOAR is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. It has a search function where you can identify scholarly publications in your subject area. Also, The Registry of Open Access Repositories includes over 3,500 repositories as of this writing.
OAIsteris another excellent place to look for OA repository materials. OAIster began at the University of Michigan in 2002. It is a union catalog that collects metadata from the Open Archives Initiative and includes metadata for OA books, articles, audio and video files, images, datasets, and theses. You may have heard the term metadata, but wondered what it means. An easy way to think about metadata is to think of it as characteristics of an object. For example, characteristics of a journal article could include the title of the journal, title of the article, author, volume, issue, year, and ISSN number. All of these are metadata describing the article.
With these tools, and sites like Google/Google Scholar/Yahoo/Bing, researchers are able to discover many open access titles on the web and in many, many libraries. If this is the case, why do you need librarians? With all this access, you need librarians even more! Librarians will continue to assist users as we always have--making sure that our users can discover and evaluate resources pertinent to their research. Libraries are constantly searching, evaluating, and implementing tools that can cross search the enormous amount of materials available. Questions about any source you find: open access, super closed access, or anything in between, can come to us. We will help!