It was in mid September last year that I heard something about Open Access when I attended an academic event .The man said what Open Access means and said that will get more information about it well when we attend the Medical student’s conference later that year.
The medical student’s conference was very interactive and among the pre-conference workshops that were present, Open Access workshop was among them and I really didn’t waste any minute and signed up for it.
That was the beginning of the Journey to start utilizing different Open Access resources and especially the open Access Journals such as PubMed and DOAJ. I wasn’t familiar with the institutional repositories at first but came to understand the impact they had and how helpful they are to students especially medical students and even planned to revive our Institutional repository
In my class we had a lot of assignment to prepare research proposal and above all there were some topics that we could not get through without an in-depth research and information searching so as to present something tangible and understandable before our lecturers and fellow student. In the research lifecycle, it could not be possible to capture and analyse data and information without that Open Access Initiatives that were introduced to me during that workshop. Getting all that didn’t make immune to all other constraints and setbacks that I faced along the way .As a young scholar that actually wasn’t the end for searching more information on what I can benefit and also be helpful to my fellow students on how they can utilise these recourses freely available to them than going to going through some old books in our library that didn’t really provide usable and reliable information at the time
To give updated correct and reliable information is quite a challenge especially in third world countries that have very limited budget and resources for students to access freely and openly available
Before knowing anything I have faced several obstacles and constraints when trying to access some of the important scientific papers. They are some they came with a price tag and even other weren’t accessible in Africa at all ,others provided an abstract only ,so it was very hard to have access to them and be able to use them on m research work as in literature review and citation
Knowledge is power and not a commodity that is has to be sold and purchased. Information is power and withholding it can result to a catastrophe .With an increased accessibility and visibility to collaborated materials from individual work to institutional work has made Open Access a really deal and very important in scholarly communications. Now we need to develop a culture of openness for long-term sustainability of community knowledge being recorded and disseminated through Open Access channels that are regularly available
More and more students and scholars really need to understand and actually obtain the tangible skills on how they can be able to freely access these resources so as to encourage the culture of doing research and coming up with new discoveries from the ground level.
In this week I am trying to raise my concern to the global community to see that we aren’t left behind in the vast of information that every day is made available to the rich and few people but rather to make it available to everyone and we need to understand that we are living in an era of scientific development from different angles
What Open Access has enabled me to understand is that I can change the world and be able to engage in the scientific researches, to find those answers to some of the pending question and that can’t be done if we have very little information around and a lot more is restricted and price tagged.
Open Access, Open for Collaboration