UT Libraries institute OA policy

AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas Libraries has taken the first step to institute an open access policy for staff at The University of Texas at Austin.

A modest plan to induce Libraries staff to deposit articles and conference papers into Texas ScholarWorks, the university’s digital repository, was recently approved by Provost Maurie McInnis.

The policy applies only to UT Libraries staff, and is non-exclusive meaning that staff are free to continue submitting work to outside publishing organizations in tandem with submissions to the local repository. It is immediately effective and does not apply to previously published or authored materials.

Open access is an international movement that has the goal of making all peer-reviewed published scholarship available free of charge to the public and to the global scholarly community, and involves the promotion and adoption of open access (scholarly publications and collections), open data (research data) and open educational resources (open textbooks).

Before coming to the university in 2014, Libraries Director and Vice Provost Lorraine Haricombe was instrumental in implementing a faculty-led open access policy at Kansas University — the first public institution in the U.S. with such a policy. Haricombe brings her advocacy for the expansion of OA to her position at the UT Libraries.

“Adoption of open access policies at the Libraries has been a priority since the first day I stepped foot on the Forty Acres,” explains Haricombe.

“The UT Libraries is committed to the open agenda and to making the results of scholarly inquiry more accessible and available to those who want them,” says Haricombe. “The implementation of a policy to guide our staff is a first signal of intent to broaden the scope of an open agenda for the Libraries, and hopefully, the university.”

For more information, contact: Travis Willmann, University of Texas Libraries, 512-495-4644.

Open Access Week 2016

Knowledge unfortunately isn’t free.

Much of the research being conducted at universities, colleges, and institutes around the world is written up by professors, graduate students, and research associates and published in toll-access (subscription) journals. Anyone lacking a subscription to that journal will not be able to access the articles published there. This creates a serious access problem for many people across the globe.

An alternative method of publishing, called Open Access, is gaining in popularity and it allows for anyone to read the results of research for free.

Why should I care?

The short version:

expensive journals = less access to research results, especially for those outside of wealthy higher-ed institutions

less access = less research being done and/or research not happening quickly because of access barriers

The long version:

Most scholarly work is currently published through toll-access journals. The work is given to the journals for free by researchers and faculty at colleges and universities – they do this in exchange for the prestige that comes with publishing their work. Many times the research being described in the journals was funded by public agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. These journals charge a subscription fee for access to the articles they publish. Sometimes the subscription fees are quite reasonable and other times they are outrageously expensive. At most colleges and universities, the Library assumes responsibility for the subscription and for providing access.

For students, researchers, and faculty at wealthy institutions this arrangement has worked relatively well for the past 100+ years. For those researchers at less-wealthy institutions or those unaffiliated with a college or university, it has created an access barrier that makes research difficult. Without a subscription to a journal, a researcher needs to try contacting colleagues at other institutions that do have a subscription or needs to email the authors to see if they will send a copy. These techniques are not always successful which means those researchers are left without access to information they need.

In addition, costs for scholarly journals have been rising rapidly at rates outpacing what libraries can anticipate and plan for based on the inflation rate.  This has created an unfortunate situation in which libraries have to cancel some journal subscriptions and purchase fewer books each year in order to keep up with price increases for the journal subscriptions that are considered critical to maintain.

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability to works without significant copyright or licensing restrictions. Put another way, it means access to scholarly and creative works without price and permission barriers.

There are two main routes to OA:

  • publish in an open access journal – this means the work is freely available from the moment of publication. This is sometimes called gold open access.
  • Deposit a copy of your work in a freely available archive – this generally happens either at the time of publication or after publication. This is sometimes called green open access.

What can I do?

As a student you can support OA by asking your professors if they publish their work openly – either in open access journals or in an openly available archive. You can also deposit your own work in the University of Texas at Austin online archive called Texas ScholarWorks.

As a researcher or faculty member you can publish your work in an open access journal, and/or you can deposit copies of your work in Texas ScholarWorks. And, you can start discussions in your department about how faculty and researchers are evaluated for promotion and tenure.

For anyone at UT:

  • Stop by booths we’ll have set up during Open Access Week. We’ll have button-making machines, swag, and enthusiastic librarians who can answer your OA-related questions.
    • Tuesday, Oct. 25th, from 5:30-7:30pm in the Architecture Library
    • Wednesday, Oct. 26th, from 12:00-2:00pm at PCL
    • Thursday, Oct. 27th, from 1:00-3:00pm in the Fine Arts Library
  • Tweet about open access using #openaccess
  • Read about, write about, and talk about open access

What is Texas ScholarWorks?

Texas ScholarWorks (TSW) is an online archive managed by UT Libraries. The goal of TSW is to provide open, online access to the products of the University’s research and scholarship and to preserve these works for future generations. TSW is highly indexed by Google and managed by the Libraries for long-term preservation. It’s easy for members of the UT Austin community (faculty, researchers, students, and staff) to share their work through TSW. Simply check out the FAQs or send an email to tsw at utlists dot utexas dot edu for information about how to submit.

Year of Open events

The Year of Open is a joint effort by the University of Texas Libraries and Texas Learning Sciences to raise the profile of open content on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, in the city of Austin, and in the surrounding area.

During the 2015-2016 academic year we hosted four speakers who talked about open education, digital technologies in higher education, and the reproducibility of research. We are working to make sure all event videos are available via our online archive, Texas ScholarWorks.

David Wiley, Sept. 29, 2015: The Future is Now and It’s Open

David Ernst, Nov. 5, 2015: Open Textbooks: Access, Affordability, and Academic Success

John Ioannidis, April 15, 2016: Performing, communicating and rewarding reproducible research

Randy Bass, May 10, 2016: Higher Education in the New Digital Ecosystem

Our Year of Open events (version 2.0) continued into the 2016-2017 academic year. Our first speaker was Clifford Lynch who talked about challenges and changes within the scholarly communication system. This video will be uploaded soon.

Please stay tuned for further information about Year of Open version 2.0 events.


Thank you to Clifford Lynch!

As part of our “Year of Open,” UT Libraries hosted CNI Executive Director Clifford Lynch for a public presentation. Titled “Evolving Scholarly Practice and the New Challenges for Scholarly Communications, ” Dr. Lynch discussed multiple topics pertaining to digital scholarship, including data management, digital curation, research replication, and data packaging. He also held a special meeting with UT Librarians to discuss these topics in more depth. Learn more about Clifford Lynch.

Again, thank you for your incredible insight!

UT Austin supports OLH

UT Austin has joined an international consortium of libraries in supporting the Open Library of Humanities (OLH). OLH is a charitable organization that publishes open access humanities scholarship without charging any article processing charges. The costs of publication are supported by a consortium of over 190 partner libraries. OLH publishes in many humanities fields, including: classics, modern languages and cultures, philosophy, theology and history, political theory, sociology, anthropology, film and media studies, and digital humanities. We are excited to participate in this OA publishing model.

If you have any questions about our membership, please contact Colleen Lyon (c dot lyon at austin dot utexas dot edu) or your subject liaison.

Luminos and UT Austin

The University of Texas at Austin is a Futura Level member of Luminos. Luminos is a University of California open access monograph publishing program. It has the same selection, peer review, and production process as their traditional publishing model, but with a different mechanism for distributing the titles they publish. Instead of individuals or libraries purchasing a book, the digital edition of monographs published by Luminos will be available for free for anyone to download and read.

We are excited to be a part of Luminos, not only because it is a great way to support open access book publishing, but also because our membership in Luminos gives UT Austin faculty a 30% discount on the Title Publication Fee.

If you have questions about Luminos, please see their FAQs. If you have any questions about our membership, please contact Colleen Lyon (c dot lyon at austin dot utexas dot edu) or your subject liaison.

UT Austin joins MDPI

UT Austin recently joined MDPI as a member. Our membership in MDPI allows UT Austin authors to get a 10% discount on the article processing charge (APC) for journals. The APCs range in price from roughly $300-1800, and many journals have no APC. MDPI publishes over 150 journals in a wide range of disciplines. The A-Z list of journals is available here: http://mdpi.com/about/journals.

Taking advantage of this membership is very easy. Simply submit your article to an MDPI journal and select UT Austin from the Discount section – if it hasn’t been automatically selected based on your IP.

If you have any questions about the membership, please contact Colleen Lyon (c dot lyon at austin dot utexas dot edu) or your subject liaison.

UT Austin joins BioMed Central

UT Austin has joined BioMed Central (BMC) as a Supporter Member. This membership gives UT Austin authors two main benefits.

  1. 15% discount on article processing charges (APCs) for BioMed Central or SpringerOpen journals. A UT Austin author must be corresponding author to take advantage of the membership discount.
  2. In addition to being published in the journal, articles from UT authors will be automatically deposited in UT’s online archive, Texas ScholarWorks.

Taking advantage of the membership is easy! Submit your article to a BMC or SpringerOpen journal. If accepted for publication, your APC should be automatically reduced by 15%. If the reduction doesn’t happen automatically, you’ll have an opportunity to select UT Austin from a drop-down menu in the payment section and have the discount approved that way.

If you have any questions about the membership, please contact Colleen Lyon (c dot lyon at austin dot utexas dot edu) or your subject liaison.

Carla Hayden: New Librarian Of Congress

We at Texas ScholarWorks wanted to congratulate Carla Hayden on her appointment as the new Librarian of Congress! She is not only the first women to hold the post, but the first African American. We wish her luck and we are confident that she will provide the knowledge and experience this position demands. Best wishes, Carla!