Today (5 December 2017) marks one year since the University Senate approved an Open Access Policy for the University. Under this policy, HKBU faculty need to provide the Library with a digital copy of their accepted peer-reviewed journal articles. Wherever possible, the Library will make these openly accessible to the public on the HKBU Institutional Repository (IR).
You might be wondering - why go to all this trouble if the articles have already been published in online journals? The short answer is that many journal articles sit behind paywalls. If you don't have access to a subscription, you can't read them. By providing an open access version, everyone can benefit from the fruits of research at HKBU.
The infographic below showcases the impact that the Open Access Policy has had since it came into effect. Downloads have come in from virtually every country in the world, and the total is well over 50,000. This is good not just for the scholars and researchers that download content from the IR, but also for our researchers that benefit from wider exposure of their work.
Your next question might be - why do publishers allow us to do this? Again, the answer is complex and multi-faceted, but essentially publishers (under pressure from governments and other research funders) recognise that it is important for research findings to be made as widely available as possible. They may impose some restrictions (e.g. embargoes), but library staff work to make sure that content released via the IR complies with the publisher policies.
Check out the infographic below for more figures on the impact of the Open Access Policy: