CRL and Open Access

Friday, October 25, 2019
Contact: 
James Simon - jsimon@crl.edu

As libraries celebrate International Open Access Week October 21-27 (#OAweek), CRL takes stock of its significant ongoing commitment to promoting openness in collections. Over 65% of the primary source collections currently hosted by CRL are openly accessible worldwide, and plans with partner institutions call for expanding this.

In 2016, responding to a strong endorsement from the community, CRL announced a policy “pivoting” to supporting open access models for sharing its digital collections. A number of initiatives supporting openess fostered by CRL were already underway, including:

  • Project Ceres, funding preservation and access to important source materials on the history of the U.S. agricultural economy
  • TRAIL, a collaborative effort to catalog and provide unrestricted access to digitized U.S. government agency technical reports (generating over 500,000 new pages of content annually)
  • Official Gazettes and Civil Society documentation from countries where the integrity of the public record is at risk 

More recently CRL has leveraged community interest in openness to make the following resources available:

CRL staff members have reported on the open components of the Global Collections Initiative at quarterly webinars and in several issues of FOCUS, including a survey of the challenges of accessing and archiving source material on the web. The 2018 eDesiderata Forum examined the challenges of sustainably investing in Open Access models for primary data to support academic research.

CRL is committed to working with, and supporting, the global community of researchers, librarians, archivists, publishers, and others as we work to promote a resource environment where acccess to information is widely available for the benefit of all.

The Impact of CRL

Stories illustrating CRL’s impact on research, teaching, collection building and preservation.

Helping Libraries Deal with ‘Big’ Data

At CRL’s 2018 Global Collections Forum, Julie Sweetkind-Singer, Head of Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections at Stanford University Libraries, discussed how satellite imagery and large geospatial datasets are being used as source materials for scholars in a variety of disciplines, and the new types of library support they require.

Unique Arab Diaspora Materials Saved for Future Scholars

In FY 2018 the Middle East Materials Project (MEMP) microfilmed Arab-language publications from several diaspora communities in non-Arab countries, including the UK, Japan, the U.S., and Poland. These resources continue to affirm MEMP’s role as a provider of rare and distinctive documentation for scholars.