A Question of Access—Evolving Policies and Practices

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Journal of Library Administration, Volume 48, Issue 1, 2008

As scholarship becomes ever more digitally driven, the communication of peer-reviewed research results has undergone a dramatic transformation. The Internet has created an unprecedented environment where these results can be immediately and broadly shared. As researchers, funding agencies, and policy makers become aware of the opportunities afforded by faster and wider sharing of research results, access policies are evolving accordingly. From policies focusing primarily on protecting this material from unauthorized users, a proliferation of policies designed to leverage the value of funding agencies’ investment in research by sharing the results as widely as possible are now appearing. This paper will examine the rapid evolution of access policies, designed to create a more inclusive scholarly communications playing field, which are now appearing around the world.