MURRAY, Ky. — Two faculty members from Murray State University were named joint recipients of the inaugural Lana Porter Open Access Initiative Award in October.

Dr. Azaher Molla of the Department of Applied Health Sciences and Dr. Sean Rife of the Department of Psychology both received $1,000 stipends for their respective research endeavors. They were recognized during Open Access Week 2018, an annual opportunity to highlight the importance of free, immediate and online access to scholarly research that took place Oct. 22–28.

“Anything we can do to promote that high-quality research be published in open-access formats is a benefit to society,” said A.J. Boston, scholarly communication librarian at Murray State. “Open access means fewer barriers between vital knowledge and those who may build upon it. Doing research depends in part on being able to read and understand the work and ideas that have come before.”

This year marks the first time the Lana Porter Open Access Initiative Award has been presented. It was established by alumna Lana Porter to recognize Murray State faculty and staff members making significant contributions to scholarship through open access formats.

“This first award to faculty who are taking advantage of our open access tools is inspiring, and I am excited to see it grow to many more in the future,” Porter said. “I applaud A.J. for suggesting this wonderful initiative and am honored to support it.”

Molla, assistant professor of public and community health, received the award for his research on health care in Bangladesh, while Rife, assistant professor of psychology, received the award for his research into data sets derived from archived personal homepages.

“I firmly believe that open access is the future of scholarship,” Rife said. “Science depends on open, honest communication. This starts with broad access to our research. The era of pay-walled journal articles and closed access is coming to a long overdue close.”

“I’m proud of Dr. Molla, Dr. Rife and all the Murray State scholars who seek out open access options,” Boston added. “I am truly grateful to Lana Porter for the public good she has helped foster with this opportunity.”

Lana Porter is the founder and CEO of L&M Enterprises and a retired AT&T executive. She is a current board member for the Murray State University Foundation and for the Leadership Women nonprofit organization. She received the Murray State University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002 and was honored in 2018 as the namesake for the University’s new Lana Garner Porter Women in Technology Award that was presented to its inaugural recipient at the 10th annual Patterns of Distinction: Security Matters Conference earlier this year.

Visit libguides.murraystate.edu/openaccess for more information about open access or research opportunities at Murray State.

Pictured (from left to right) are Melanie Brooks, development director for University Libraries; Dr. Sean Rife, assistant professor of psychology; alumna Lana Porter; Dr. Azaher Molla, assistant professor of public and community health; and Ashley Ireland, dean of University Libraries.
Pictured (from left to right) are Melanie Brooks, development director for University Libraries; Dr. Sean Rife, assistant professor of psychology; alumna Lana Porter; Dr. Azaher Molla, assistant professor of public and community health; and Ashley Ireland, dean of University Libraries.
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