Category Archives: OA policies

Gates Foundation and AAAS OA agreement

You’ve probably already seen the news, but the Gates Foundation and AAAS have come to an agreement that will allow all Gates Foundation funded research to be published with a CC-BY license in Science, Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics. This now puts Science journals in line with the Gates Foundation open access policy and gives Gates funded researchers an option to publish in those journals.

It’s great to see funders using their leverage to promote greater access to scientific articles. It will be interesting to see if other publishers end up coming to similar agreements with Gates, and if other funders try a similar route in providing access to their funded-research.

The agreement includes a $100,000 payment to Science to help offset any lost revenues with the CC-BY license. The Gates Foundation anticipates publishing between 10-15 studies in AAAS journals in 2017, so that works out to $6,666 to $10,000 per article/study. Pretty pricey when you compare it to APC costs.

Here’s the announcements about the agreement. It’s interesting to note the differences between them.

AAAS announcement:

Gates Foundation announcement:

Nature News:

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.

ACRL issues policy statement on OA

The Association of College and Research Libraries has issued a policy statement about open access to scholarship by academic librarians. The statement encourages academic librarians to publish in open access journals or to archive their final manuscript in an open access repository. This seems a long overdue statement as librarians have been advocated for open access for many years. Good to finally see this!

Dept. of Labor adopts open licensing policy

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has adopted an open licensing policy that requires all intellectual property created under the competitive award process to be licensed with a Creative Commons attribution license.  This will allow the public to use, share and build upon the work funder by DOL.

More information:

UC OA policy extends to all UC employees

The University of California has expanded the reach of their open access policy by including all UC employees. The Presidential Open Access Policy builds on the Academic Senate open access policy and will include scholarly research authored by clinical faculty, lecturers, staff researchers, postdoc scholars, grad students, and librarians.

You can find out more about the policy here:

New chart outlines public access policies

Science has just published a short news story about public access policies at federal agencies. They have a really nice chart showing U.S. science agencies, their budgets, their model of dissemination of research articles, estimated # of articles per year, and when the policy starts.



For the full news article:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation OA policy

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced a new open access policy that will apply to all articles based on research funded in part or entirely by the Foundation. The policy will require all articles to be freely available online with a CC-BY (or equivalent) license. A 12-month embargo period will be allowed until January 2017, at which point all articles will need to be available online at the time of publication. The policy also applies to data underlying the research results.

For more information:


Economics of the Scholarly Communication Ecosystem

On January 31st, we had a discussion that was open to all library staff about the Economics of the Scholarly Communication Ecosystem. Those of us in the Open Access Group had been reading about the economics behind open access (OA) publishing, traditional, toll-access publishing, and hybrid publishing. We hoped the discussion would be a forum for us to share what we’d learned and hear from participants about their thoughts on the issue.

Here are some of the highlights of the discussion:

  • While the literature we (OA Group) had read indicated that switching to a system that pays for publishing services (Article Processing Charges, APCs) rather than paying for access would be much cheaper for libraries, some participants said they had read literature indicating that for research universities, the cost would be higher.
  • This brought up the issue of funding agencies paying for some APCs, so that universities and libraries wouldn’t be responsible for paying all APCs for their authors.
  • Of course, these discussions assumed a complete switch to open access publishing, but that isn’t the reality. There was much discussion around how we cope with the current transitional system we are in – most journals still charge a subscription fee (even if they also offer hybrid OA), while some journals are open access (both free and with fees for publishing).
  • We discussed the OA funds that some university libraries are making available to faculty at their institutions. Most of these funds are small in size (less than 100k), are available only to those people who do not have grant funding available to pay APCs, and cannot be used for hybrid-OA.
  • One participant asked if there had been much discussion in the library about which route to OA librarians preferred. We talked briefly about some of the pros and cons of green-OA vs. gold-OA. This is certainly a topic that could use further discussion.
  • There was some frustration expressed with the fact that we’ve been talking about OA for 20+ years now and we still have much the same system as we did in 1994. While there are some very successful OA journals, many of the OA journals that started up during that time have since folded.
  • Some of the collaborative efforts discussed included SCOAP3, the Compact for OA Publishing Equity, and SHARE.
  • One interesting topic brought up was a concern that universities (and the legislatures that fund public universities) do not truly understand what it means to be a public good. This lack of understanding coupled with very high costs for access to information and a transitional scholarly communication environment could lead administrators to pull funding away from the library – similar to what happened with many university presses.

While this was a great opportunity for us all to talk about the issues facing us right now, there is still much we didn’t get a chance to discuss. We hope to have discussions on other topics in the future.

Our reading list is available here.

Responses to the White House OSTP Directive on Open Access

I had been waiting for the draft plans in response to the Feb, 2013 White House Directive on Open Access to be released, so we might see what affect the plans would have on our own planning for our institutional repository, the UTDR, as well as to plan educational and support programs. Word is that the draft plans were required to be submitted to the White House by August 22, 2013, but not made public necessarily, until they go through internal review and revision. But there is some indication from those who are close to the process that most of the 23 agencies that are affected are considering most seriously an interagency repository or utilizing the existing NIH repository, PubMed Central. This may be a bit of a surprise for all of us, in that the mandate to accomplish open access without additional funding suggested that reliance on outside facilities, such as those proposed by the publishers (CHORUS) and University libraries (SHARE), would prove useful. Apparently not so much, at least not with respect to journal articles. Maybe with data.

All of this is speculation at this point, however. I guess that’s all we’ve got right now.