Friday, March 02, 2007

Open Access (OA) and Web 2.0 - What's the connection?

Greetings fellow OA librarians,

On my sabbatical, I've had the distinct pleasure (and luxury) to contemplate some of the synergies created between open access and social software. But more than that, I've been able to determine for myself how some of these trends fit into a larger whole for our profession.

OA is not, despite its name, about access exclusively - although, it's our raison d'etre as librarians. OA is also about librarians being able to participate as equal partners in the academic enterprise. Some of the most rewarding work I have done in the past year is collaborate with physicians on the launch of our new OA journal called Open Medicine. Our launch is imminent.

Further, the core values that are brought out into the open through open access are linked to the notions of collaboration and socialization in web 2.0. Knowledge begins with conversations - one of the reasons we use blogs. Content-creation via wikis is important for exploration, and discovery. Using social tagging to organize websites is a simpler means of subject analysis and description. If librarians are good at getting their message out, web acolytes will see that we have expertise in description beyond simple taxonomies in the emerging 2.0 discourse.

For those of you interested in wikis, this article in Nature Medicine might be of interest. Dean

1 comment:

Heather Morrison said...

Jennifer Campbell-Meier, a professor at UBC SLAIS, said something similar at a talk at SFU Library last week. Her PhD research is on institutional repositories; one of the things she is finding is that the IR brings librarians into a new level of conversation about scholarly communications with faculty. This in itself is rewarding.

This comment reflects my personal opinion only, and does not reflect the opinion or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or SFU Library.