Open Access to scholarly research for everyone sounds like a great idea. For libraries, open access means being able to buy more scholarly journals - critical to students and faculty who want to do research. The general public also benefits by having improved availability of information. For publishers, however, the question of open access goes right to their bottom line.

“A big concern is how do we affordably produce materials that can be made open access in ways that protect the quality of the content when you are not going to be compensated for helping to create it in the end," University of New Mexico Press Director John Byram said. "We need to find ways to balance the benefits of open access with how to compensate the professionals who refine and improve the materials that we disseminate.”

College students like the idea of open access textbooks. It’s an important affordability issue for students who pay hundreds of dollars for textbooks, items the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship doesn’t cover. But Byram says open access textbooks need to be thought through. “Somewhere along the line, someone is paying the bills,” he said. If students are getting the textbooks for free, it’s worth thinking about who paid to allow that to happen. A foundation? A granting agency?

Hear all sides of the question (for free) during Open Access Week.

Open Textbooks: Benefits and Challenges for the University of New Mexico
Monday, Oct. 20 • 10-11 a.m., Willard Room, Zimmerman Library

Panelists: John Byram, director, UNM Press; Jon Wheeler, data curation librarian, College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences, UNM, Carrie Mitchell, interim director, UNM Bookstore; Associated Students of UNM Representative

Panelists will discuss the potential benefits and challenges associated with open access textbook adoption at the UNM. In the past decade, the prices of many college textbooks have increased out of proportion to other higher education costs.

The issue is particularly pronounced in the science, technology and mathematics disciplines, to the extent that the high cost of required texts is impacting enrollment, student achievement and retention. To address these issues, initiatives such as OpenStax College have evolved to provide peer reviewed, Open Access textbooks to students for free or at greatly reduced costs.

Faculty also have the option to adopt Open Access textbooks for their required texts or as supplementary materials. The choice is not simple and has both real and perceived costs, including lost revenue and the challenge of revising curriculum that has been optimized for a higher-cost textbook series.

How Can Tenure and Promotion Practices Reward Open Access Scholarship?
Monday, Oct. 20 • 1-2 p.m., Willard Room, Zimmerman Library

Panelists: Carol Parker, senior vice provost, Academic Affairs, and UNM professor of Law; Virginia Scharff, associate provost, Faculty Development, Distinguished Professor of History and director, UNM Center for the Southwest; Kevin Malloy, UNM associate vice president, Research Initiatives, and professor, Physics and Electrical & Computer Engineering.

The UNM Faculty Handbook reads, “Scholarship embodies the critical and accurate synthesis and dissemination of knowledge.” In many academic fields and disciplines, the synthesis and dissemination of research findings is controlled by a limited number of journals and publishers, whose pricing and marketing strategies can be in direct conflict with growing federal and sponsor expectations toward efficient and free access to the products of publicly funded research.

How do these competing interests impact academic faculty, who must balance conflicting expectations to publish in selective, high impact (and often pay-walled) titles while also meeting funder requirements toward openness? Is there a role for Open Access publishing and funding models in the humanities to support tenure and promotion processes? Do emerging funding initiatives in support of first book costs and institutional participation in Open Access journals such as PeerJ create any incentive to change tenure and promotion processes to more fully recognize and reward Open Access scholarship?

Open Government: Promises and Pitfalls
Tuesday, Oct. 21 • 3:30-5 p.m. • Law Library, Room 2402 (free parking provided in the L lot for attendees of this session)

Moderator: Jon Wheeler, data curation librarian, UNM College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences

Panelists: Dede Feldman, New Mexico Senator 1997-2012; Brenda Castello, executive director, NM Compilation Commission; Benito Aragon, co-founder and publisher, New Mexico Mercury; Daniel Barkley, government information coordinator, UNM College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences.

“Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government,” -- President Barack Obama (2009). Panelists will explore the various themes connected with Open Government and the impact on New Mexico including issues of transparency in state and local government and how they impact the participation of an informed electorate. An informed electorate is a central component of any democracy. What constitutes a meaningful balance between efficiency and openness?

Open Data Success Stories: A Conversation with Figshare Founder Mark Hahnel
Wednesday, Oct. 22 • 9-10 a.m.

Live stream in Zimmerman Library, Frank Waters Room 105 (subject to change) globally shared via Adobe Connect

Moderator: Steve Koch, research data scientist, UNM College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences; Speaker: Mark Hahnel, founder, Figshare, London, UK

Figshare founder Mark Hahnel will demonstrate a few data sets that have been highly cited and re-used demonstrating the power of open data. Additional topics to be covered include factors driving users to the service and the types of technical and cultural barriers faced, as well as how Figshare may be used in partnership with institutional repositories.

The Genomics Data Sharing Policy: The Impact and Challenges of of the New NIH Mandate
Wednesday, Oct. 22 • 1-2 p.m. • Domenici Center West, Room B114

Moderator: Jacob Nash, resource management librarian, UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center, Scott Ness, The Victor and Ruby Hansen Surface Professor in Cancer Genomics, associate director, UNM Cancer Center; Tudor Oprea, chief, Division of Biocomputing and Professor Division of Translational Informatics.

The recent mandate from the NIH to share genomic data from grant funded research states “Sharing research data supports...the translation of research results into knowledge, products, and procedures that improve human health” (National Institutes of Health Preamble for the Genomic Data Sharing Policy). Scott Ness and Tudor Oprea will address how sharing genomics research data can lead to improvements in human health, provide anecdotal data sharing success stories, and discuss barriers to implementation and drawbacks for researchers.

Supporting Your Rights as an Author: University of New Mexico Libraries’ Open Access and Author’s Rights Services
Friday, Oct. 24 • 3-4 p.m. • Zimmerman Library B30

Presenters: Jon Wheeler, data curation librarian, UNM College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences; Jacob Nash, resource management librarian, UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center.

At this session, faculty representing the libraries of UNM will discuss strategies for negotiating contracts that facilitate access to research products. Publisher policies regarding how faculty may use their own published research within their teaching and professional activities can vary significantly. Depending on the terms of the publisher’s contract, faculty may on the one hand be allowed to freely distribute, share and republish the articles they have authored. Alternatively, they may be prohibited from posting copies of their work on their personal and departmental websites or sharing via large scale platforms such as MOOCs.

For more information, visit: UNM Open Access and UNM Office of Innovative Scholarly Initiatives.

Follow the UNM College of University Libraries & Library Sciences and UNM Open Access on Twitter @scholarlyUNM and #openaccessUNM.