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OISE looks toward the future of education scholarship


April 19, 2012

By Eileen Thomas

Free public access to education research took a giant leap forward this year as OISE adopted a policy statement to increase access to its research and scholarship worldwide to scholars, educators, policymakers and the public. OISE researchers, who are internationally recognized for their expertise and contributions to teaching, research, policy and practice, will receive assistance from the OISE Library in providing unrestricted public access to their peer-reviewed journal articles via the internet, specifically through T-Space, the open access repository operated by the University of Toronto Libraries.

According to OISE graduate student Stían Håklev, a PhD candidate in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning who researches collaborative online learning with open educational resources, an open scholar is one who not only allows free access and reuse of his or her scholarly work, but also goes beyond established notions of open access to make their peer-reviewed research freely available to everyone. “This policy builds directly on OISE’s long term commitments to social justice, teacher education and knowledge mobilization. Making our research available to classroom teachers, principals, parents, school boards and politicians will drastically increase the impact of our research on education practices in Ontario and beyond,” he said.

Increasingly used to provide access to theses, scholarly monographs and book chapters, and as more and more institutions and people begin to embrace it, open access has become much more prominent. In 2011 for example, T-Space had more than 106,000 unique visits, with most – 97%, finding articles through Google searches.

The OISE Library is committed to providing support to faculty and students who want to archive their articles to T-Space. “Archiving in T-Space is an excellent way for faculty to increase the outreach of their academic work,” explained Julie Hannaford, who is Associate Librarian for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and Director of the OISE Library. “By engaging in this open access initiative, OISE demonstrates powerful leadership within the Ontario educational community. Open access is intended to promote greater equity and enhance access to exemplary digital scholarship for the benefit of all” she added.

OISE researchers who are interested in learning more about how they can access library support in archiving papers, for example, researchers who presented at the 2012 AERA Conference this week and who would be great candidates to submit their papers to T-Space, should contact Julie directly at j.hannaford@utoronto.ca . As well, the OISE Library is willing to work with faculty CVs by checking publications and uploading them to T-Space.