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Purdue Libraries honors grad student for open access efforts

A Purdue graduate student is being recognized for promoting more access to scholarly research.

Mel Chua wants journal publishers to consider lifting restrictions on articles, so more users could benefit. She also is educating graduate students and professors about open access, so they can make their research available now.

"Open access is one of those things that you don't know you want until you run up against it, until you actually go searching for something and can't find it, until you're trying to share something and you can't share it. It's at that moment when you need it when you say, 'Oh, man! Three years ago, I should totally have [made my research open access].'"

Chua says many students who get research articles accepted by a journal don’t read author agreements with the publisher. She says there could be restrictions that prevent them from posting the information on a personal website or sharing it electronically.

Chua is an engineering education student who worked in the open source movement before coming to Purdue.

The university’s electronic publications repository experienced its three-millionth download earlier this month. The database allows free access to research for anyone with an internet connection.

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