University participate in Open Access events during the month of October in an effort to provide The University of Southern Miss academic and research community the opportunity to learn about the potential benefits of open access, particularly those related to open textbooks.
Open Access events take place around the world and are now entering the 10th year. Through a series of events, university faculty and students will be able to attend sessions on open textbooks and Open Educational Resources. Attendees will learn the basics of open textbooks and OER, how they work and can benefit faculty and students, how to create an open textbook and hear experiences and perspectives of open textbooks and OER from a combined faculty and student panel.
“The University has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to student success in recent years, and open textbooks complement these efforts wonderfully,” said University Libraries Institutional Repository Coordinator Josh Cromwell. “Because open textbooks are free, they ensure that students have access to all required readings for their course while also alleviating the financial burden of purchasing expensive traditional textbooks. Open textbook programs at other institutions have saved their students [more than] $1 million in textbook costs over a five- year period. We believe that open textbooks at Southern Miss can offer that same level of benefit for our students.”
Cromwell manages The Aquila Digital Community, the university’s institutional repository, and is one of the organizers of Open Access events.
Open access to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research and the right to use and reuse those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry and society as a whole.
Open access has the potential to maximize research investments, increase the exposure and use of published research, facilitate the ability to conduct research across available literature and enhance the overall advancement of scholarship. Research funding agencies, academic institutions, researchers and scientists, teachers, students and members of the general public are supporting a move towards open access in increasing numbers every year, and the recognition of open access is a key opportunity for all members of the community to take action to keep this momentum moving forward.