This is the "Faculty Open Access Policies" page of the "Scholarly Publishing & Communication" guide.
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Scholarly Publishing & Communication   Tags: author disambiguation, copyright, fair use, identifiers, open access, publishing, scholarly communication  

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Last Updated: Jul 27, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Faculty Open Access Policies Print Page

What Is A Faculty Open Access Policy?

  • A faculty open access policy provides for published materials to be made open access, usually via the institution's digital repository, through grant of a license to the institution prior to publishing the work. Authors own the copyright to their work so can grant this prior license to the institution.  
  • It does NOT require faculty to publish in open access journals. Faculty continue to send their work to whatever journals they choose.
  • There is always an option to "opt out" of the policy on an article by article basis. The faculty member asks for a waiver or an embargo.
  • Publishers can ask the author to request a waiver as a condition of publication.

Why adopt a Faculty Open Access Policy?

  • Authors have a wider audience, when there are no price barriers to readers, than they would have by publishing in a subscription controlled access journal; their work is more likely to be found, used and cited in traditional ways, such as in references to other papers, and in newer ways, such as in downloads and discussion of the works in blogs and news report
  • Researchers avoid repeating work that was already done; they advance knowledge by mining the text and data of a larger collection of works more effectively when they have access to all the relevant literature; their research is available to engineering system designers, policy makers, clinicians and others to be applied to solutions to problems or to develop new approaches to medical practice
  • Institutions more easily showcase the work of their faculty and increase the impact of that work globally; news stories provide links directly to the full text of the work instead of leading readers to pay wallsFunders realize a fuller impact from their investments, because the results are more widely available; they better serve their sources of funds, such as taxpayers in the case of government funding agencies
  • Readers, both the intended and unintended readers, experience fewer blocks in accessing the information they need

    Without an open access policy, the options available for making a journal article open access require a set of actions on the part of the authors for each journal article, which include:

    1. Paying an additional fee to make an individual article open access within a subscription based journal
    2. Posting the article on their own or departmental web site, or in a discipline specific repository; this might not be acceptable to the publisher, the metadata may not be sufficient for discovery, and access and preservation are not guaranteed for the long term, particularly when faculty change institutions
    3. Choosing to publish in an open access journal, which is an option only when the field is well supplied with reputable open access journals

Frequently Asked Questions about Faculty Open Access Policies

1. What institutions have open access policies?

Many institutions such as Duke, Harvard, MIT and Princeton have faculty open access policies in place.  At Dartmouth, the Council on the Libraries has drafted a policy for consideration by faculty across campus. Link to PDF of the Dartmouth Open Access Policy.

2. What materials are covered by open access policies?

The final peer reviewed, pre-published version of the scholarly articles authored by the institution's faculty are the most typical kind of materials specified in open access policies. For this purpose, “scholarly articles” are defined as works describing the outcome of scholarly study or research that are produced with no expectation of payment, such as those usually made available through peer-reviewed scholarly journals and conference proceedings. Although scholarly articles of this nature are specified, this does not prevent an author from making other kinds of material open access using the infrastructure built to provide access to articles under this policy. Policies typically apply to articles submitted for publication after adoption of this policy.

3. How do open access policies apply to co-authored papers?

Each author of an article holds copyright in the article individually, so any author of a co-authored paper can assign the prior license without getting permission from the other co-authors. It is not necessary to get permission from each co-author; however, the co-authors are encouraged to communicate about their institutional open access policies.  If a co-author prefers not to have the article available under this policy, the author can choose to ask for a waiver.         

4. What if the publisher will not publish my article?

Many publishers are compliant with faculty open access policies, since many leading research institutions in the United States have these policies in place. MIT and Harvard list publishers who cooperate fully with their open access policies without need to modify the publication agreement, attach an amendment to the agreement, or opt out of the policy.    

When the publisher is not compliant with the policy, the author can seek help in negotiating with the publisher or simply opt out of the policy.

5. How do open access policies relate to open access publishing?

This policy addresses providing access to articles that are published in a wide variety of outlets with different business models. It does not require an author to choose an open access journal or to pay the additional fees required by some publishers to make an individual article open access.

6. How do open access policies work?

Implementation details vary by institution, but other institutions have a process that provides an electronic copy of the author’s final version of the article at no charge in an appropriate format (such as PDF), usually to the Provost's Office or designate. The article will be made available to the public through the digital infrastructure available for promoting scholarly work at the institution.

7. Can I opt out or have an embargo on access to my article?

Yes, you can ask for a waiver which means you opt out of the faculty policy for a specific work, or you can ask that your article be made unavailable for a specific period of time, which is an embargo. If the institutional prior license has been waived, the article will be archived in an institutional repository without open access permanently. Ifr there is an agreed upon embargo period, access to the article will be made unavailable for the period of the embargo.

8. What kinds of uses are covered under open access policies?

The institution cannot sell the articles, so for example the organization cannot created a course pack for sale out of the articles made open access by this policy. 

9. I use images and other media in my articles, and often have to pay for permission to use these.  Do I have to pay again to have my complete article made openly available under this policy?

No, you do not have to seek permissions again, since any arrangements for materials in your articles continue to apply under the open access policy.

10. If I am no longer at Dartmouth, will I be able to remove my article?

Your prior license with Dartmouth still exists, but policies about retention of the actual articles will be developed with input from faculty.

11. I already put the final peer-reviewed version of my article into the open access PubMedCentral due to grant requirements.  Will I have to follow a similar process for this?

No, the implementation of the policy will be done such that the faculty have no extra steps to take unless a waiver is requested. 

12. I already put my paper in an open access repository ( or Repec are examples). Do I have to do that again for this policy?  

No, the implementation of the policy will be done such that the faculty have no extra steps to take unless a waiver is requested.


Best Practices and Models

Good practices for university open-access policies

by Stuart Shieber and Peter Suber of Harvard's Office for Scholarly Communication

"This is a guide to good practices for university open-access (OA) policies. It's based on the type of policy adopted at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, U of Kansas, U of Oregon, Trinity, Oberlin, Rollins, Wake Forest, Duke, U of Puerto Rico, Hawaii - Manoa, Columbia, Strathmore, Emory, Princeton, Jomo Kenyatta, Utah State, Bifröst, Miami, California - San Francisco, the U Massachusetts Medical School, Rutgers, and Georgia Tech (listing some but not all, and in chronological order). However, it includes recommendations that should be useful to institutions taking other approaches."


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