ECE wins Libraries' first open access honor

October 22, 2010

Purdue Libraries Dean James L. Mullins presents the first Leadership in Open Access Award to Ragu Balakrishnan, head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. (Photo/Dick Myers-Walls)

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Purdue Libraries has presented the first Leadership in Open Access Award at Purdue to the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering for its support and exercise of the principles of open access.

James L. Mullins, dean of libraries, presented the award to Ragu Balakrishnan, head of ECE, on Wednesday after a faculty panel discussion of "Publishing for Global Impact." The award ceremony came during one of several events of Open Access Week at Purdue, part of an international observance and awareness effort. 

The award recognizes the significant contributions of ECE Technical Reports to ePubs, Purdue Libraries’ open access repository. ECE Technical Reports are among the most downloaded materials from ePubs at more than 170,000 full text downloads.

"By fully embracing open access for these important research products, the School of ECE extends the impact of its research around the world," Mullins said. "By making the technical reports available through Purdue Libraries, the reports enter the network of scholarship as citable and durable research objects."

Open access refers to free availability on the Internet, permitting any user to read, download, print, search or link to the full texts of materials. Open access works are freely accessible but their use is still protected under U.S. copyright law.

During the panel Wednesday, six researchers involved in founding open access journals or using Purdue Libraries' open access repositories discussed how their work developed and is progressing. Those experiences were framed as case studies for the progress and value of open access as a whole.

Two other events were featured during Open Access Week. Ray Crow, senior consultant for SPARC, spoke Monday about "Building Business Models for Campus-based Publishing." On Thursday, Scott Brandt, associate dean for research and professor of library science, spoke about practices for managing and providing access to data.

Contact Beth McNeil, associate dean for academic affairs for Purdue Libraries, at for more information on open access at Purdue.