Friday, 29 February 2008

A new OSI-supported OA source book

A richly fertile OASIS looms on the horizon

There is exciting news to report to the research community! The Open Society Institute has agreed a grant to develop an online Open Access (OA) source book that will provide practical steps towards implementing OA for research output.

To be called OASIS (Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook), the resource aims to provide ‘all you need to know’ about OA, its concept, principles, benefits, approaches and means to achieving it. It will provide comprehensive links to resources already established on particular aspects of OA. It will be continually up-dated to take account of the fast-moving changes and information appearing every day.

It will not duplicate existing resources but link them to form an OA supermarket, allowing individuals to mix and match elements as required by their own constituencies. It will be a benign viral educational tool as well, spreading information and establishing connections between the researchers, librarians, repository managers, research managers and funders. It will be a back-up for OA workshops and training courses, and provide periodic online tutoring on specific aspects of OA.

The sourcebook will be in modular format, will be accessible online, as print-on-demand, and on CD/DVD for ready distribution to low bandwidth users. As such it will be an invaluable free-of-cost tool for developing countries wishing to benefit from the OA movement.

The project will be coordinated by two of the foremost OA advocates, Leslie Chan (University of Toronto) and Alma Swan (Key Perspectives), via a contract between the OSI and the Electronic Publishing Trust for Development (EPT). A number of partners with specific expertise will support the project, as will an advisory board of individuals with OA knowledge and commitment.

It is hoped to launch the OASIS website on the occasion of the up-coming ELPUB2008 conference, ‘Open Scholarship: Authority, Community and Sustainability in the Age of Web 2.0’, to be held in Toronto at the end of June, (see The EPT will keep you posted on developments via the EPT blog and web site.

This is a long-awaited resource that will undoubtedly be used world-wide and by all constituencies concerned with open access to research findings. May the OASIS bloom abundantly!