Facilitating access to free online resources: challenges and opportunities for the library community

A white paper from Taylor & Francis

“While we understand that the questions we posed encompassed a world of free-to-view material beyond the traditional book and journal content that is normally associated with the offerings of major scientific, scholarly and professional publishers,  we nevertheless are acutely aware that there are key roles that we need to perform and a whole range of new services and products that we should look to develop. All key stakeholders in the information and research communication worlds are aware that ‘free’ does not mean cost-free.  However, free-to-access and free-to-view, with free content availability in models such as ‘freemium offerings’, are among the paths towards global access that we are all now embracing and experimenting with.”
Dr David Green, Global Journals Publishing Director

Librarians have found themselves in an environment where information is coming from everywhere: SNS, blogs, wikis, OA books and monographs, forums and discussion groups, videos, mobile apps. Potentially these free resources could be of great value for education purposes: teaching, learning and research but how do librarians determine the value of all these online resources when free doesn’t necessarily mean easy to find?

We at Taylor & Francis wanted to conduct a research programme to help explore the issues relating to free content discoverability from the perspective of librarians. We intended to identify the challenges that librarians face in facilitating access to free online resources, alongside the paid resources they are more traditionally used to managing. As a publisher, we want to provide help and support for librarians in the challenges that they face navigating non-purchased content.


Get informed- Read the White Paper here

Download the report and analysis of results from our survey here

UPDATE: Download the report and analysis of results from the follow-up survey (November 2013) here

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