October 22-28 is Open Access Week worldwide. Open Access (OA) is an academic movement that advocates for the results of scholarly research to be made freely available for immediate access over the Internet. If this idea is new to you, we suggest reading Peter Suber's A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access  or viewing the short video, Open Access 101 .
While libraries would like to be able to provide access to every journal published, not even the wealthiest of them can afford to do so. In fact, rapidly rising journal costs in recent years have resulted in decreased purchasing power for libraries. Here are a few numbers that illustrate this:
- For 2012, the average subscription cost per title in the health sciences is $1,693, and for biology it is $2,281. Even in the face of a weak economy, the cost of journals continues to increase; these prices represent increases of 11-12% in just the past two years. The upward trend is expected to continue in 2013 with average increases of more than 6% for academic titles.1
- The annual subscription price for Brain Research is now more than $23,000.
- Between 2005 and 2009, the prices of the journals covered by Science Citation Index increased an average of 38.5%, a figure much higher than the overall rate of inflation.2
So please take a minute and think about it: have you ever come across an article that you wanted to read, but the full text wasn’t available without cost? The Open Access movement seeks to change that, and UNTHSC faculty members now have an incentive to publish in OA journals. Because Lewis Library holds a Supporter Membership in BioMed Central, a major OA publisher, UNTHSC authors receive a 15% discount on the processing charge for published articles. It should also be noted that some of Biomed Central's journals, including Chiropractic & Osteopathy, charge no processing fee. For more information, visit BioMed Central .
Below are more short videos that provide different perspectives on Open Access from the academic and medical communities. If you would like to get involved, visit SPARC  or Open Access Week  on the Web.
1 Library Journal Periodicals Price Survey 2012
2 Library Journal Periodicals Price Survey 2009