Saturday, September 18, 2010

open access in action

As a strong proponent of open access, I'm an avid user of both Selected Works and Scholarly Commons. My Selected Works site is I've just begun to add old articles and book chapters to the site, but I can say that it's not at all hard: find the offprint or make a photocopy, scan, upload, add the bibliographic information with an easy interface, click. Now anyone can read these heretofore hard-to-find essays, reviews, etc. As I do this work I ponder whether anyone will care, but then I receive monthly stats on how many people have downloaded each article. I'm amazed and gratified by how many. I suspect many if not most are outside the academy, far-flung geographically, or are high-school students without access to a good library.