School of Social Work Becomes Second Columbia School to Adopt Open Access

open access iconThe School of Social Work at Columbia University has implemented an open access resolution, stating that all faculty and staff have resolved to commit to making their scholarly works accessible to the public. The policy went into immediate effect after CSSW faculty voted unanimously in favor of the resolution at their faculty meeting on December 2, 2013.

The School of Social Work is the second Columbia graduate school to sign on to open access. The first was Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, which did so several months earlier, in May 2013. Two major Columbia programs signed on in 201: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services.

Jeanette C. Takamura, Dean of the School of Social Work, said of the open access policy: “The scholarly work of the members of our faculty is driven by their commitment to producing scientific evidence that can build and strengthen the effectiveness of practice interventions and the impact of policy advancements towards the improvement of the quality of human life. The faculty's decision to support the dissemination of research and information to multidisciplinary audiences as well as the general public aptly mirrors this, their fundamental commitment. We are delighted that this new opportunity has been facilitated by the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship.”

Rebecca Kennison, CDRS’ Director, commented: “We are pleased that, with barely any urging on our part, the School of Social Work faculty moved quickly, enthusiastically, and unanimously to adopt this open access policy, understanding completely the importance of this commitment on their part to enable researchers, scholars, the local community, and the general public to have unrestricted access to their research. This policy and its implementation provide faculty and staff with the opportunity to further the School’s mission of advancing knowledge for effective social work practice and education.”

By committing to making their scholarly works publicly accessible, School of Social Work faculty either will either ensure their work appears in an publicly available online repository of their choice, such as PubMed Central (sponsored by the NIH), or else will work with the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS), a branch of Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, to deposit their research into Columbia’s freely accessible digital repository, known as Academic Commons.

Academic Commons currently consists of nearly 12,000 scholarly works that were created and deposited by faculty, students, and staff at Columbia University or one of its affiliate institutions, including Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary, and Jewish Theological Seminary.

"We applaud the leadership of the School of Social Work in advancing open access to research," said James G. Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian. "The Libraries are eager to continue to work with other Columbia schools and institutes to expand commitment and participation in open access initiatives."

Img: The open access logo, originally designed by the Public Library of Science (courtesy Wikimedia Commons).

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