'Open Access Week' comes to a close, but the movement continues to grow

Open Access Week just came to a close. This was the 6th annual anniversary of a global event that is becoming more popular every year as the open access movement continues to grow and spread around the world - especially in the field of medicine and bioinformatics.

For a long time, the 'Open Access' movement has primarily campaigned for free and unrestricted access to scholarly information and research articles via the Internet. However, as the movement has continued to spread and pick up momentum, it has shifted its focus to also now include books, monographs, and other media.

Instead of publishers using copyright to restrict access and use of information, new open access licenses now allow authors to retain ownership of their works and grant the public the right to access and creatively reuse their works. New licenses, such as those developed by Creative Commons, are now used by many open access publishers, e.g. Public Library of Science (PLoS), BioMed Central (BMC).

The following are links to selected 'open access' health information journals, text books,  web sites, and other resources you ought to check out:

Bentham Open Access - Over 230 peer-reviewed open access journals covering all major disciplines of science, technology, and more.
BioMed Central - Publisher of 220 open access, online, peer-reviewed journals spanning all areas of biology and medicine.
College 'Open' Textbooks - Peer reviewed free and open access textbooks for use in community college courses.
Connexions - A virtual environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Internet.
Creative Commons - Helping people to share knowledge, research, and educational materials with others around the world.
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - A directory of a wide range of freely available online, open access Journals covering the arts and sciences.
EIFL Open Access - A global network of national library consortia advocating open access to knowledge for education and research purposes.
Elsevier - One of the world’s leading provider of science and health information, serving more than 30 million scientists, students and health & information professionals worldwide.
Libertas Academica - The publisher of 87 peer reviewed medical and scientific journals, of which 81 are open access.
OER Commons Textbooks - Information about open textbooks offered through Open Education Commons (OER).
Public Library of Science (PLoS) - A non-profit publisher and advocacy organization helping to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. Everything they publish is open access and freely available online.
PubMed - More than 21 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, including life science journals, and online books.
Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) - Supporting new communication models that expand the dissemination of free, open access scholarly research materials thereby reducing financial pressures on libraries.
Versita Publishing - They operate Versita Open, one of the world’s leading Open Access platforms, hosting full texts of nearly 200 scholarly journals.
World Digital Library - Providing free and open access to historical documents related to medicine from around the world - coordinated by the Library of Congress & UNESCO.

* Visit the COSI 'Open' Health web site for links to other 'open access' healthcare publications and  resources.

Since April 2008, when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) introduced a stronger Public Access Policy, over 200,000 NIH-funded journal articles have become freely available through PubMed Central. As of 2012, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is getting close to 8 thousand titles, and adding titles at a rate of over 3 per day.  -  2012 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

For more news and information about the many Open Access Week events that will be taking place around the world over the coming year, go to http://www.openaccessweek.org/events. Find out what's happening in Sweeden, Italy, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Spain, Argentina, and many other countries. Remember the upcoming Open Access Africa 2012 Conference starts November 4, 2012.