What is HELIOS?
The Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship (HELIOS) is a cohort of colleges and universities committed to collective action to advance open scholarships within and across their campuses. Leaders from US colleges and universities have joined this community of practice, working together to promote a more transparent, inclusive, and trustworthy research ecosystem.
What is Open Scholarship?
Open Scholarship (also known as Open Access) is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the right to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone, anywhere, can access and use these results.
The rise of Open Scholarship is a response to the mismatch between a) the possibilities for communicating research in the digital age and b) the current print-based model employed to communicate this research. In an era when access and reuse restrictions have become artificial, state, federal, and private research funders are increasingly scrutinizing the practices of the legacy publishers who effectively sequester new research findings from most of the world population.
Advancing Open Scholarship is in the best interest of the public and of the University of Illinois. The high cost of access to publications that communicate the outcomes of research has exacerbated the growing gap in access between well-funded higher education institutions and institutions with less financial support. The growing cost has also limited the public access to research and has strained the budgets of even wealthier institutions. The challenge of this growing gap in access has come to the attention of funding agencies, both in the U.S. and abroad, and many of these agencies have introduced requirements to ensure the broadest possible access to publications that result from their funding. As a publicly-funded land-grant institution, communicating our research to the public and to scholars at a broad array of higher education institutions is in our best interest. Research by University of Illinois scholars published behind paywalls will not reach the broadest possible audience and will see reduced citations as a result. Researchers at Illinois will also face barriers to meeting their obligations to funders and the public.