Open Access and Liberal Education: A Look at Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia D. Aram Donabedian, MLS, MFA John Carey, MLS, MA Hunter College Libraries Hunter College City University of New York Introduction Under Soviet rule, libraries in the South Caucasus enjoyed a steady level of support. In the post-Soviet era, however, they face increasing budgetary challenges and must seek alternatives to commercial publishing and licensing models. In addition, hostilities and political instability have compounded the problem of decreased funding. We assessed the status of the open access movement and Internet use in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. We also examined how developing affordable models for scholarly communications is crucial to strengthening liberal education and civic participation in these developing democracies. Internet Use and Penetration in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, 2008 Population Armenia 2,968,586 Percentage of Population Online 172,800, or 5.8% Growth of Internet Use, 2000вЂ“2008 476% Azerbaijan 8,177,717 1,500,000 or 18.3% 12,400% Georgia 4,630,841 360,000 or 7.8% 1,700% ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, Standard 3: вЂњThe information-literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.вЂќ Internet Filtering Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are developing a reputation as leaders in the development of next-generation controls that block selected content. Three Generations of Controls 1st generation: Firewalls at key Internet choke points 2nd generation: Overt trackвЂ”legalized content controls Covert trackвЂ” вЂ�вЂ�just in timeвЂ™вЂ™ blocking, plausible deniability 3rd generation: Counter-information, surveillance and data mining Armenia: 5 OA Journals, most focusing on science: Mechanics, Physics, Mathematics, Biology . . . also вЂњHistorical-PhilologicalвЂќ Digital Library Fundamental Scientific Library Seeks вЂњmass digitizationвЂќ of NAS journals Critical Information Literacy and the Librarian/InstructorвЂ™s Role Soviet model: вЂў knowledge as a "truth" transferred from professor "experts" to accepting students VS. Critical pedagogy: вЂў studies the social, cultural, political, and economic dynamics of teaching/learning Low transparency: filtering is unacknowledged or disguised as network errors South Caucasus Countries by Regime Type and Filtering Practices Country Regime Type Filtering Methods Used Level of Filtering Transparency Armenia Hybrid 2nd and 3rd gen. Substantial Low Azerbaijan Georgia Authoritarian Hybrid 2nd and 3rd gen. 2nd and 3rd gen. Selective Selective Low Low Open Access Publishing in the South Caucasus, 2011 Open Access Institutional Federal-level Open Access Journals Repositories Digital Libraries in the South Armenia 5 0 1 Azerbaijan 3 1 0 Caucasus Georgia 5 0 1 Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia are all actively engaged in open access activities and in developing modern scholarly communication resources. These three countries currently publish a number of open access journals, and all possess some form of either a digital library or institutional repository. The Critical information literacy process: вЂў Teach students to question the social, political, and economic forces involved in the creation and use of information вЂў Draw attention to the role of the individual in information-based power structures вЂў Achieve critical agency to actively engage with the political and social conditions вЂў Cultivate an informed and dynamic citizenry Azerbaijan: Institutional Repository KUIR: Khazar University Institutional Repository Diverse subjects The regionвЂ™s only IR 3 OA journals international affairs, general academic research, etc. Georgia: 5 OA journals, heavy on technical subjects (mathematics, computer science) Digital Library of the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia Electronic theses, dissertations, e-resources Reference Donabedian, D. A. & Carey, J. (2011). Open access and liberal education: A look at Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Slavic & East European Information Resources 12(4) . RECOMMENDATIONS пѓ� Nurturing liberal education пѓ� Encouraging democratic participation As they build democratic institutions, South Caucasus countries can strengthen and transform the educational models that help provide the foundation for civic participation in the following areas: Open Access: вЂў provides greater access to content for researchers in the South Caucasus вЂў encourages national innovation вЂў encourages transnational collaboration by providing global access to the scholarly output of South Caucasian researchers вЂў breaks down the pay-walls that make scholarly literature inaccessible InternetвЂ™s RoleвЂ”Control vs. Community: вЂў Powerful tool for networking вЂў Offers counter-narrative to statecontrolled media вЂў Fuels economic development вЂў Fosters free speech вЂў Engages people in civic participation Image: Parajanov, S., Director. (1988). Ashik Kerib [Motion picture]. Armenia: KINO International..