Cut off from knowledge

 Teacher Development  Comments Off on Cut off from knowledge
Sep 252013
 
uplink down

Uplink Down — by Small_Realm (flickr)

Two weeks ago, towards the end of the summer EAP course I was teaching, I walked into the staff room and as usual logged on to the Internet from my iPad to check my email: Failed! …Hm, I must’ve mistyped my password; try again… Failed!… Typed very carefully… … Failed! … Now, this was getting annoying…. I tried logging on from a networked computer: This account has expired!

Suddenly it hit me. A week ago, I had applied for the graduate library card they gave to alumni. This triggered my “expulsion” from the system as a student. I had graduated a while back and was expecting this but not before finishing the summer course as I also had access to the system as a member of staff. I was so unprepared to be so suddenly cut off that I felt tears coming up … Yes, I know, I didn’t expect that either.

I had had access to all library resources including e-books and journals for more than three years. When I saw a reference mentioned somewhere, I could go and check it out, and download it if it was interesting. And now I was suddenly cut off from all of this knowledge!

Once I had recovered from the initial feelings of loss and sadness, I went to IT services, who kindly gave me emergency access for two weeks, which I used to make a list of topics I was interested in and search for and download related articles, chapters, and e-books. This made me feel much happier for the moment, but I knew it wouldn’t last for long. And although I got another extension until October, I will be cut off, in the end, from most electronic resources (As a graduate, I do retain some access to electronic articles via JSTOR  and to the physical library when I’m in Manchester).

Importance of Open-Access

This made me realise how important open-access journals are, and I started bookmarking those of interest to me in Diigo (my open-access tagged bookmarks. Here is what I have got so far:

There is also the Directory of Open Access Journals, which lists (as the name suggests) open access journals.

Journals suggested by colleagues:

 

Can you help me expand my list?