An open access community is a digital repository or an online community where scientific information and communication are free to the public through computing technologies (Hanauske, M., et al 2007; Hubbard, C., et al, 2005). Open access community provides a new way for knowledge sharing and knowledge management. It takes advantage of collective expertise by providing a repository for research papers and research data that are scattered or take a long time to be published. The panel will discuss experiences and challenges people face in various open access communities. Particularly, we will discuss the following issues:

  • How did each community or repository achieve the functions of “organize” and “share” among people having a common interest in the community?
  • How long did it take to launch and establish an open-access community?
  • What impact of such an open-access community / repository has on people's interaction with information? Impact on fee-based digital libraries or traditional libraries?
  • What the tradeoffs are between opened vs. controlled?
  • How well do they address privacy issues?
  • How well is current open access community/ repository meeting human needs, and what should future technology research and development involve to better meet user needs?