Archive:Open University Campaign/Open Access

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Open University Campaign Criteria #1: Open Access

What Is Open Access?

An Open Access Publication has two criteria:

1. The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship[2], as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.

2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.

Why Is Open Access Important?

Digital technologies, especially the Internet, have radically reduced the cost of publication and dissemination of knowledge. The burgeoning possibilities of world-wide publication align nicely with the ethos of scholarly publication. For centuries, scholars and scientists have shared their discoveries not for monetary compensation, but with the understanding that their ideas are more valuable when shared. By exposing as many people as possible to new knowledge, the accumulative progress of academia will continue; open access will accelerate research, enrich education, and ensure all parties, regardless of material wealth, benefit from scholarship.

What Can A University Do?

1. Hire faculty who publish OA

2. Adopt OA principles for faculty publishing

3. Support OA journals

(Primary source: Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing)

Committee Members

Christian Pfaab, Adi Kamdar

Committee Steps

-Draft a one page document outlining the importance of open access

-Determine what makes an "A" open access policy - is Harvard an "A" or should they improve? What else goes into this ranking: library support for OA journals, faculty working on OA proposals, etc.

-Draft letters/questionnaires for relevant departments - library, faculty senates, provosts, etc.

Further Material

Database of universities with OA policies

What universities can do towards OA

What funding agencies and universities can do


Berlin Declaration

Bethesda Statement

Budapest Initiative

There is a handbook on Open Access published by the German-UNESCO Commission (DUK) that is also available in English. provides a lot of general informations on Open Access in German and English. There is a students organization to push it as well: OpenStudents

Gavin Baker's Thoughts

(1) Does the university have an open access policy? (May be at the department or school level, rather than at university level) NB: ROARMAP is pretty comprehensive on this, but sometimes universities have adopted statements/resolutions supporting open access without adopting a policy. An incomplete list of some such actions is here:

(2) (If there is a policy) Is open access required or merely requested/encouraged? (In the words of the Student Statement: Does the policy "ensure" open access?) See #1 in Peter's list above. NB: In ROARMAP, requirements are marked as "institutional-mandate" or "departmental-mandate".

(3) (If open access is mandatory) How does the policy deal with publisher objections? There are generally two options here: Either the requirement preempts publisher policies or it doesn't (typically the policy uses a phrase such as "subject to publisher policy..."). See #10 in Peter's list above.

Are you using letter grades for the report cards? I'd suggest this scale:

Official policy requests/encourages open access: C or C+

Open access mandatory but subject to publisher objection: B+ or A- (NB: I'm not sure if any American university policies fall into this category)

Open access mandatory, preempts publisher policies: A or A+

Since SFC is a student group, you also may be interested in the university's policy toward open access to student research, notably theses and dissertations. See #17 in Peter's list above. NB: Universities' policies about open access to theses are typically older than and separate from their policies about open access to faculty publications. Don't expect to see student work mentioned in the OA policy; rather, look for a separate "ETD" (electronic theses and dissertations) policy.