This week hits home for me in a new way this year, as I am currently unaffiliated with an academic institution, and thus (at least formally and legally) unable to access subscription databases like Jstor, L’Annee Philologique, and so forth. I’m not alone – the informal poll Chuck Jones is running on AWOL suggests that 45% of responding readers do not have access to Jstor. (Note for those in my boat – if you visit your local University, you can probably get access to these databases for free while in their library, but not on wireless or off campus. Local policies may vary, but in general University libraries welcome serious people who want to do research in their library buildings. Look for the Reference Desk, sometimes called Research Services, and ask about guest or visiting scholar access.)
Last year I did an introductory post on Open Access Week for classicists; you might click through for a refresher.
I also used the occasion of Open Access Week in 2010 to debut the Ancient World Open Bibliographies blog, which collects open-access bibliographies for ancient studies. The blog begat a wiki which now lists and links to over 450 bibliographies, with a special focus on the classical world, but with broad coverage of the lands around the Mediterranean and some dips into places further abroad. I celebrate all those scholars who have made their bibliographies – valuable research tools – available to the internet-enabled public. Thank you!