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Joe Doctor Colloquium 2015: The Power of Open

Zhanna Yablokova, English, and Jill Richardson, English

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How can faculty utilize the internet to increase access to their scholarship and to provide students with an alternative to costly textbooks? Faculty and staff gathered to discuss these questions on April 15, 2015, in the Richard Harris Terrace. “The Power of Open: Unlocking Your Research and Course Materials for Maximum Impact” was the theme of this year’s Joe Doctor Colloquium.


BMCC 2015 Joe Doctor Colloquium was organized by the Faculty Development Committee with the support of the Office of the President and the Office of Academic Affairs. The members of the Faculty Development Committee are: Chair, Sharon Avni (Academic Literacy and Linguistics), Sidney Eng (Library), Barbara Lawrence (Mathematics), Secretary, Jae Ki Lee (Mathematics), Abdramane Serme (Mathematics), Zhanna Yablokova (English), Joanne Zak (English and Academic Literacy and Linguistics). The committee extended special thanks to Jean Amaral (Library) for organizing and moderating the panel.


Pragmatic Solution to Real Problems: Open Access


“Open access is a pragmatic solution to a real problem in scholarly communication,” according to presenter, Megan Wacha. Ms. Wacha, Scholarly Communications Librarian, CUNY Office of Libraries Services, works with all CUNY libraries to create open access information. Open access means free access to information for anyone with an internet connection. Open access movement began in response to the high cost of textbooks for students and rigid publishing rights set by academic publishers.


Ms. Wacha encouraged faculty to submit their research to the new open access platform for CUNY called Academic Works. Academic Works makes research available to students and scholars. It promotes collaboration with colleagues at CUNY campuses and increases citation rates. It also allows scholars to preserve and share their work in a single place. Faculty do not lose their publishing rights by submitting to Academic Works. Journal articles, books, book chapters, conference presentations, as well as slides and data can be submitted to Academic Works.


In her presentation, Ann Matsuuchi, Associate Professor, Library, LaGaurdia Community College, explained that because of financial constraints libraries have limited access to procure scholarship. As a result, students and researchers have limited or no access to many materials. Open access offers a remedy to this problem.


Reaching Students in and beyond the Classroom through Open Access


Prof. Chris Stein (Media Arts and Technology, BMCC) discussed in his presentation how he had difficulty finding course material for his classes. So he began creating his own content. He uses YouTube to create presentations, and as a result, other people beyond his students watch his instructional videos. This overwhelming response led him to begin using another software sharing website called GitHub.


Prof. Jessie Daniels was the next speaker. Prof. Daniels, Public Health, Sociology and Critical Psychology, Hunter College, CUNY Graduate Center and the CUNY School of Public Health, discussed her personal journey to making her scholarship open access. She also talked about how she created a course that she made open access for anyone to participate in, called “Open Scholarship for Open Education.”


After the presentations, the participants broke into small group discussions led by the presenters. The themes of these discussions were “The Power of Open Scholarship,” and “The Power of Open Educational Resources.”   


To access CUNY Academic Works, go to:


Contact Prof. Jean Amaral (Library) to upload your materials to CUNY Academic Works.