In a first for a New Zealand university, Lincoln University has implemented an open access policy, allowing staff and postgraduate students to make their research outputs including research data, teaching materials and public records, openly and freely accessible on the web.
The decision by Lincoln University to make content openly and freely available stems from the mindset that if public funding has supported the creation of an idea, research or other content, then it is reasonable and fair that it be made accessible to the public.
“This is a huge step forward for Lincoln University and all the more so when considering we are the first university in New Zealand to implement such a policy,” says Lincoln University Librarian, Professor Penny Carnaby.
“While there will be circumstances when it would be inappropriate to make research or other content openly accessible to the public, Lincoln University wishes to actively encourage all content produced by staff and postgraduate students to be openly shared on the web.”
The University’s Open Access Policy encourages Lincoln University authors and content creators to use a Creative Commons or other public copyright licences. A Creative Commons license provides free licences and tools that copyright owners can use to allow others to share, reuse and remix their material legally.
Content is be available through the Lincoln University Research Archive website and the newly created Lincoln University Community Archive website, an online history of the people, events, and local community since the founding of the institution, and its websites.
In another initiative to facilitate greater access to information and to foster literacy in the Selwyn District the University is working with the Selwyn District Council, National Library of New Zealand and Lincoln High School.
“While it’s early days yet, we are excited by the enormous possibilities of this alliance, and the potential to support literacy and the joy of reading in our district. We want to connect to the 26 schools in the Selwyn district and extend learning opportunities through both the University and the public libraries in the district,” says Professor Carnaby.