I’ve been thinking a lot about discovering resources lately. There have been a lot of announcements related to online resources:
- Continued news coverage of the Google Books settlement
- Cornell recently donated 70,000 scanned public domain books to the internet archive
- Open Access mandates from NIH leading to articles being deposited in PubMedCentral
- Open Access mandates from universities (Harvard, Kansas, MIT, lots of others) leading to deposit in institutional repositories
The question is, can our students find a copy of a paper or a book they are looking for?
For example, a student searches Scopus for information. They find the citation to a paper (or a book) that will be useful to them. How might they get their hands on that paper or book (legally) without paying for it?
- The openURL button within Scopus takes them directly to an open access full text article on the web
- The openURL button within Scopus takes them directly to an article purchased for them by their institution
- The student finds a copy of the article deposited in PubMedCentral
- The student finds a copy of the article using the institutional repository of the lead author
- The student finds a copy of the article using OAIster (a union catalog of institutional repositories)
- The student finds a PDF of the article linked from the authors’ homepage after doing a Google search
- The student finds the book a local library (academic or public)
- The student gets the book through ILL
- The student finds an electronic copy of the book on Google Books
- The student finds an electronic copy of the book on the Internet Archive.
I’m sure I’m missing something.
A student won’t know whether a journal article is open access, or archived, or only available via subscription. How can we make sure that the student can get to the information they need as easily as possible? I think libraries better figure it out quick, before someone else does.