Top News

Biblio-Talk: Open access journals important issue in Queens County libraries

books on wooden deck tabletop
books on wooden deck tabletop

This week my topic is open access journals and their importance to furthering research. 

By Eric Pottie

This is primarily an area of focus for academic libraries but it is a key issue in modern librarianship. Journals are necessary for schools as students and professors alike need them to conduct their research and continue making advancements.
At present, colleges and universities gain access to journals for research by paying subscriptions to publishers. Many times, journals are bundled together so institutions are required to pay for journals they may not need to get ones they want. These subscriptions can cost millions of dollars a year.
Open access journals come in a variety of forms and styles but at their core they are journals or articles that are free and open to anyone. These can be set up by institutions through digital or print collections or on free, open-sourced online sites.
This movement is incredibly important here in Canada as most journal subscriptions are priced in American dollars. So as the loonie slides, universities need to make tough choices on what they can afford. Memorial University in Newfoundland was faced with this problem in December 2015 and sadly had to stop their subscription to over 7,000 journals to stay within budget.
This isn’t an issue that can be fixed tomorrow, but it is important to think and talk about the way in which research is done in today’s world and how beneficial a move to open access can be. If you, or you child, or your grandchild is enrolled in post-secondary education, they can talk to their institution’s librarian about what sort of resources their school has for housing or searching for open access materials.
By making journals open access, it means that all people can have free and easy access to important information. Journals and the articles in them are needed so scientists and researchers can use the work done by others to make further advancements in their field.

Coming up at the library
This Thursday, Aug. 3, from 6:30-8 p.m., we will be welcoming retired Canadian diplomat Scot Slessor to the Thomas H. Raddall Library. He will be discussing the former positions he held across the world and his stained glass art. Feel free to drop in and enjoy his talk.
The Thomas H. Raddall library is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sundays 12-4 p.m. and closed Mondays.
The Alean Freeman Library is open Wednesdays 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
For more information about the library, you can find us on Facebook at South Shore Public Libraries, follow us on Twitter @ssplibraries or check our website at
You can contact the Thomas H. Raddall branch by emailing us at or by phone at

Recent Stories