Toronto, ON, Canada, October 11, 2011 -- With just short of a year of operations under its belt, Knowledge for All, the global project to open up scholarly journal literature, is on a fast track to transforming the way academic journal content is shared, discovered and accessed. What began as a bold response to unreasonably high subscription fee hikes for proprietary journal databases is now a coordinated effort to place scholarly journal literature at the fingertips of those who seek it - all at the much more reasonable price of, well, free. To celebrate year one of project development, Knowledge for All is hosting the first ever Open Index Week (visit www.k4all.ca/Open-Index-Week for a full event schedule) - a five day showcase of how far the project has come and where it will go next. A salute to the globally celebrated Open Access Week, the web-based event kicks off Oct 24th and invites universities, libraries, academics, researchers, students and the public at large to learn about the project, share their insights and join in the collaborative effort to open scholarly knowledge to everyone.
In ten months Knowledge for All has grown from innovative proposal to active venture. The project has attracted a passionate group of experts and practitioners from the international library and academic community to round out its Board of Directors and assembled a global team of staff to guide project development. Together, they’ve successfully launched the project into its initial Planning and Development Phase and developed a comprehensive Strategic Plan to chart the course toward product launch scheduled for November 2012 (the full Strategic Plan is published at http://www.k4all.ca/strategic-plan and invites public comments on its pages). “We’ve got a really committed team together with a lot of great energy building around the project - we look forward to having others join in and collaborate to grow it even further”, says Michelle Gruda, the project’s Engagement Coordinator in Toronto.
As an open, collaborative project, Knowledge for All represents an opportunity for all members of the international library and academic community, along with creators, managers and seekers of scholarly journal literature across the board, to take access to scholarly knowledge into their own hands. Over the last 15 years alone, the cost of journal subscriptions has increased by over 180% with rates for academic journal databases rising exponentially as well. Combined with funding cuts and dwindling resources for libraries and other curators of scholarly journal content, gaining access to the latest academic research and analysis has become an expensive game.
Knowledge for All is making an innovative play to change the rules. It’s proposed product is a single, comprehensive search tool for scholarly journal literature, free for anyone with an internet connection to access, use or customize. The project builds on the strengths of the open access, open data and open source movements to develop the first tool of its kind that connects seekers of scholarly journal literature across the globe with a comprehensive collection of published works.
Open Index Week will celebrate gains made over the last year toward the project’s vision for better access to scholarly journal literature and invites others to join in and participate as Knowledge for All moves from vision to reality. For a full schedule of Open Index Week events visit www.k4all.ca/Open-Index-Week and register to get involved in the Knowledge for All project at http://www.k4all.ca/get-involved.