Since the start of lockdown on 23rd March the way we all buy items has changed. From following social distancing rules in the supermarket, trying to find an online delivery slot or not being able to buy products we used to buy regularly. We are all adapting to this new shopping experience and this is no different for libraries and how they buy and provide access to books. Continue reading “Acquisitions in Lockdown – moving from print books to eBooks”
To all of our amazing colleagues across academic and professional support departments, and our wonderful students, whether you’re playing football in the field outside the Bill Bryson Library, or at home caring for family and loved ones, our thoughts and best wishes are with you at a time which many of us are trying to struggle for normalcy as everything is changing rapidly around us.
University Library and Collections colleagues are working flat out (both on campus, and working from home – we’ll be sharing pictures and experiences in the near future!) to try to ensure that our existing collections are made as accessible as possible and we are providing support wherever we can, in challenging times (see our web pages for more details and updates including click & collect services, expanded virtual library help and live chat support).
But we are also working with publishers and library colleagues at other universities to ensure we can ease access online to resources wherever we can, for both students and staff. We have highlighted some of those new developments below:
Open Access is about ensuring that anyone anywhere (with a connection to the internet) has free, unimpeded access to the published outputs of publicly funded research. At Durham University, we pay around £3 million each year to provide access to our staff and students to journals and databases. Much of this content is not available to those not at a University – whether that is health workers, teachers, commercial companies or charities working in areas of social welfare.
Even at Durham, staff and students can not access everything they want to. In 2018/19, just under 5,000 requests were made through our Document Delivery Service for items not covered by our current subscriptions. Students and staff at other universities, without the same level resources than Durham has, will face difficulties accessing all of the published research which is out there – they may be faced with paywalls which regularly require the payment of a fee.
“Every year, JSTOR said, it turns away almost 150 million individual attempts to gain access to articles.”
‘JSTOR Tests Free, Read-Only Access to Some Articles’, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 13 2012
Rising to this challenge, policies from research funders, national governments and universities, coupled with support and action from academics across all disciplines, is making more and more research available for free. It still can be tricky however, when hitting that dreaded paywall, to see if there is an open access version of the research available to you.. so lets look at some of the options available to you, whoever you might be.
The annual DCAD “Part-time and Distance Doctoral Student” training event took place this week, with doctoral researchers from Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside universities coming together to meet, discuss experiences and participate in a range of workshops delivered by academic and professional support colleagues from across Durham University.