The basic of premise of Open Access – that all research should be freely available online – is also a guiding principle of the K-State Research Exchange (K-REx). In a nutshell, K-REx enables students and faculty to put their scholarly work online and make it available for anyone to view and download. Sounds simple, but the benefits can be enormous.
Let’s look at the example of Matthew Vanden Boogart, a K-State graduate student who deposited his masters thesis Uncovering the Social Impacts of Facebook on a College Campus in K-REx in 2006. Since that time, his paper has been viewed or downloaded over 5,000 times and cited in 3 books. Based on this interest, Matt is planning a follow-up study. If his thesis had been submitted as a paper copy and placed on the library shelves, rather than freely available through K-REx and discoverable in Google, it’s unlikely it would have generated as much interest and led to further research.
Similarly, faculty use K-REx to facilitate access to and uptake of their work. Melody LeHew (Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design) deposited her article Tourist Shoppers’ Satisfaction With Regional Shopping Mall Experiences in K-REx. Within a few weeks time she received an invitation from a publisher, who had found the article in K-REx, to include it in an anthology. Although the article was published in the International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality, depositing the article in K-REx provided access to readers (and editors) beyond the usual journal subscribers.
Peter Pfromm and Peter Czermak, both in the Chemical Engineering department, have deposited 36 articles in K-REx, and these papers have been viewed or downloaded from K-REx an astonishing 16,422 times! The authors submitted these articles to peer-reviewed journals, as scientists have done for centuries, and the articles were published and distributed to the journal subscribers. But what Drs. Pfromm and Czermak do that vastly expands the reach of their work is to also submit copies of those articles to K-REx. The goal of K-REx is not to replace traditional scholarly publishing, but rather to take advantage of the Internet and OA to increase the impact of scholarly research.
Want to jump in? Contact Marty Courtois, 532-4428, email@example.com for details on how to add your work to K-REx.
This is our third open access post for the week. Hope you're enjoying the series.