Open Access Week, now entering its 8th year, is a chance to learn, share, and spread the word about the benefits of open access to information.
So what does “Open Access” mean?
It means the right to freely and immediately access scholarly research online and to use and re-use it in whatever way best suits your needs. For a small business, Open Access (OA) can mean that the latest research is available to help drive innovation in alternative energy and biotechnology, or that social enterprises can take advantage of resources that will help them grow strong – all for free. No matter what your industry is, your small business can benefit from Open Access resources.
OA resources for your business
Currently ranked the number 1 repository in Canada, the cIRcle digital repository is a service of the UBC Library and holds published and unpublished material created by the UBC community and its partners. cIRcle contains over 40,000 items (and counting) including articles, conference papers, technical reports, and even podcasts and webcasts all freely available on the web to anyone, anywhere.
The Directory of Open Access Journals, or DOAJ, aims to be the “one-stop shop” for open access journals. The DOAJ indexes over 10,000 journals from 135 countries that users can access, read, download, and distribute free of charge. Publishers must apply to have journals indexed and only those that take measures to ensure quality are indexed in the DOAJ.
seToolbelt is a free open-content community initiative to help social entrepreneurs plan, start, manage, and grow successful social enterprises. With over 1,400 free toolkits, essays, videos, podcasts, business plans, research papers, and templates spanning various regions, sectors, and industries, seToolbelt is a valuable resource for finding, learning, and sharing practical information for social enterprises.
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are a tremendous resource for small business owners. Whether you’re starting from square one, brushing up on some aspect of business, or interested in exploring an entirely new area of business, you might want to consider taking a MOOC. Here are a few places to find online business courses:
- Coursera offers free online courses that anyone can take from some of the top universities and organization in the world.
- EdX is a non-profit online initiative created by founding partners Harvard and MIT which offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities.
- OnlineCollegeCourses.com offers many free courses with flexible class and study times.
- Khan Academy has free educational resources in a number of subjects including economics and finance.
Happy Open Access Week! Be sure to take advantage of all of the free online resources that can help you and your business succeed.