It’s National Library Week, and to celebrate Oxford University Press is making many of its online resources free for users in the U.S. and Canada this week. Access will be open until the end of Saturday, the 19th. You will be able to read Oxford’s online dictionaries, online scholarly editions, extensive reference materials, and the popular series of Very Short Introductions, which “offer concise introductions to a diverse range of subject areas from Climate to Consciousness, Game Theory to Ancient Warfare, Privacy to Islamic History, Economics to Literary Theory.” (To access the texts, type “libraryweek” as the username and password in the Subscriber Login area. It appears halfway down the page, on the left.)
The open access period excludes Oxford University Press scholarly journals. This is unfortunate. As you probably know, most of the research published by university presses resides behind prohibitive paywalls that make it difficult for independent scholars and laypeople to read current scholarship. It would be nice to see Oxford and other presses make such grace periods more frequent and inclusive in the future. But for now, OUP’s open access week is a great way to entice non-professionals into academic scholarship and temporarily ease the burden on those without regular access to their databases. Visit Oxford’s site and sign in with username and password “libraryweek” to begin reading.