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Openness: For Students

Upcoming Events

Open Access week was October 19-23, 2015

Watch a recording of our Panel on Ethics in Information Access

At Davidson College, we have a great deal of information privilege. Our access to thousands of books and articles enables us to read and utilize information most of the world will never see. In addition, we make intentional decisions about how our own work is distributed. This session will explore why information access is not just an economic issue but also a social justice issue. Panel members will facilitate a conversation about the information sharing avenues that better allow us, the Davidson community, to create a disproportionate impact.


Intellectual Property

Students are scholars too! You produce a lot of important information as a student, including research papers, websites, and honors theses. Some Davidson students even publish on institutional blogs or in scholarly journals. You can decide if your work is open. 

  • As the author of your thesis , you own the copyright, and you can decide if you'd like it to be shared under a specific Creative Commons license. For more help deciding, contact a librarian
  • If you do a digital project, ask your professor if you'll be using a Creative Commons license.
  • If you make your work open, make sure you aren't violating any copyright and that you are attributing others' original ideas. See the Davidson copyright guide for more help. 

If you decide to publish an article, meet with a librarian to learn more about retaining your author rights.

1) Find out what journals' copyright agreements are

2) Consider negotiation tactics and adding an addendum to retain more of your author rights

Get Involved

Here are just a few steps Right to Research suggests for students interested in OA:

1. Sign the Student Statement on the Right to Research as an Individual

Show your support and commitment to Open Access by signing our Student Statement, and join other students in advocating for and educating students about Open Access.  Though only organizations can be formal members of the Right to Research Coalition, we believe individuals are every bit as important as student organizations and governments.

2.  Get Your Organizations, Student Government, and Friends on Board

As the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers.  Whether you bring up the access barriers at your institution, steep barriers faced by other students, or the heavy toll lack of access to research has on students, researchers, patients, and doctors in the developing world, nearly any student organization has an interest in opening up access to academic research.  Getting your student organizations involved and urging them to join our coalition is a great way to raise awareness of the issue of access to research and get students involved in opening the system. 

Your student government exists to represent you and your interests; let them know that access is an issue and urge them to join over a dozen other student governments in our education and advocacy efforts.  Students and student governments can play a critical role in establishing campus open-access policies that make the results of research on your campus openly available to all.

Finally, bring up Open Access with your friends and urge them to get involved both themselves and through their own organizations.

Find resources to get started

Subject Guide

Questions? Need help? Ask a Librarian
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