“Voices of Open Access” Series Available Online

A new video series presents six unique perspectives on the importance of Open Access to research across the higher education community and beyond. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the organizers of the first Open Access Day with Students for FreeCulture, today released the series of one-minute videos capturing why teachers, patient advocates, librarians, students, research funders, and physician scientists are committed to Open Access.

The “Voices of Open Access” series defines Open Access as a fundamental component of a new system for exchanging scholarly research results, where: health is transformed; research outputs are maximized to their fullest extent; efficiencies in the research process enable faster discoveries; the best science is made possible; young people are inspired; access transcends the wealth of the institution; cost savings are realized across the research process; and medical research conducted for the public good is made available to everyone who needs it.

“These short videos vividly bring to life why Open Access matters to a broad range of people,” said Peter Jerram, Chief Executive Officer of PLoS. “From a teacher who used a mouse song to inspire her science class to a major funder of scientific research who believes that it helps scientists make the discoveries we need to improve health. These clips are a much needed resource for this growing international movement which now seeks to recruit even more members of the general public and the scientific community to its cause through Open Access Day, October 14, 2008.”

Added Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, “This series speaks to the heart of the broad appeal of Open Access; the new opportunities it creates for everyone to benefit from the results of science and scholarship.”

The series introduces:

* Barbara Stebbins, science teacher at Black Pine Circle School in Berkeley
* Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, London, U.K.
* Sharon Terry, CEO and President of the Genetic Alliance, Washington, DC
* Ida Sim, Associate Professor and a practicing physician at the University of California, San Francisco
* Diane Graves, University Librarian for Trinity University, San Antonio
* Andre Brown, PhD student, University of Pennsylvania

The series was created by filmmakers Karen Rustad and Matt Agnello.

The videos are available for the public to view, download, and repurpose under a CC-BY license at http://www.vimeo.com/oaday08. They are also available as a single file for viewing at events.

The Voices of Open Access Series is launched in conjunction with the first Open Access Day and the fifth anniversary of the launch of PLoS Biology, the flagship biology journal from the Public Library of Science. Open Access Day 2008 will help to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access, including recent mandates and emerging policies, within the international higher education community and the general public. The day will center on live broadcast events with leading scientists and will be marked by more than 100 campuses in 20 countries. For details, visit http://www.openaccessday.org.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. Read the FAQs on PLoS and open access, and visit the PLoS blog and Facebook group.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC’s advocacy, educational and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web at http://www.arl.org/sparc.