Open Access Week 2014

This week—Oct. 20-26—is Open Access Week. What does that mean exactly? Open access (OA) is the practice of providing free, unrestricted online access to scholarly content. OA content is free of charge and free Open access logoof most copyright and licensing restrictions. Advantages include easier access, wider visibility, greater impact of research, faster publishing, and easier sharing and collaborating.

There are two main routes that you can follow to make your content open access:

  1. Gold open access is achieved by publishing content in open access journals, like those listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.
  2. Green open access is achieved by depositing content in open access repositories. In other words, you publish your content in any journal and then self-archive a version for free public use in your institutional repository. (By the way, the BenU Library is developing an institutional repository. Keep an eye out for more information about it in the near future.)

Interested in learning more about the Open Access (OA) movement? Here are a few resources to get you started:

New Popular Films on DVD Available for Checkout

Check out some of the new popular films on DVD available for checkout at the BenU Library on the Lisle and Springfield campuses:Gravity

More popular films on DVD

HINT: On the Lisle campus, the Popular Films Collection is located on a revolving shelving unit in Kindlon Lower Level. Can’t find it? Ask us at the Circulation Desk.

Comics & Graphic Novels Often Targets for Censorship

Each year, we celebrate Banned Books Week to call attention to the harms of censorship. The focus of this year’s Banned Books Week is comic books and graphic novels. In recent years, there have been a number of high profile challenges to comics. For example, just last year Chicago Public Schools restricted access to Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir Persepolis.

Why are comics so often targets for censorship? According to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) Banned Books Handbook, “Comics are uniquely vulnerable to challenges because of the medium’s visual nature and because comics still carry the stigma of low-value speech. Some challenges are brought against comics because a single page or panel can be taken out of context, while others come under attack because of the mistaken notion that all comics are for children” (p. [2]).

Here are just a few of the comics and graphic novels challenged in recent years:

  • Bone / Jeff Smith (Reason challenged: Drugs, alcohol, smoking, political viewpoint, racism, violence)
  • Stuck in the Middle / ed. Ariel Schrag (Reason challenged: Language, sexual content, drug references)
  • The Color of Earth / Kim Dong Hwa (Reason challenged: Nudity, sexual content, unsuited to age group)
  • Persepolis / Marjane Satrapi (Reason challenged: Profanity, violent content)
  • Fun Home / Alison Bechdel (Reason challenged: Sex/nudity, LGBTQ themes) *Last week, Bechdel was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant.
  • Blankets / Craig Thompson (Reason challenged: Sex/nudity)
  • The Sandman / Neil Gaimon (Reason challenged: Anti-family themes, offensive language, unsuited for age group)
  • Watchmen / Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (Reason challenged: Unsuited to age group)

Find the full list of the Library’s comic books and graphic novels.

For literary criticism on graphic novels, search MLA International Bibliography or JSTOR (access via our Databases page).