Author: Josh Bolick

Josh Bolick works at Florida State University Libraries in the Office of Scholarly Communication.

Funding agencies establish public access plans

Over the past few months major funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Department of Defense, as well as others, have announced new public access policies for funded research. What this means is that many faculty and grad students at FSU will soon be required to make journal articles and data sets derived from funding openly accessible as a condition of continued or future funding. This is a major shift in the default research culture, and University Libraries are working to provide information, resources, and support as the campus adjusts to these requirements. (more…)

Open Access Week 2014


Open access is the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research. It has direct and widespread implications for academia and society as a whole.

Open Access Week, October 20-26, is a global event now entering its eighth year, an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the benefits of open access and to inspire wider participation in helping to make open access the new norm in scholarship and research. This year’s theme for Open Access Week is Generation Open, a recognition of the changing and evolving nature of the academy as new researchers enter its ranks.

There are lots of ways to be involved:


Part of a registered student organization? Invite representatives of the Libraries to come talk about open access with your group, and consider signing the Student Statement on the Right to Research. The Student Government Association, Congress of Graduate Students, and the American Library Association FSU Student Chapter led the way by endorsing the Statement last year. The Statement can be signed by individuals as well as organizations. (more…)

Federal Funders Open Access Policies

The Department of Energy has become the first federal funding agency to release a public access policy under last year’s Office of Science and Technology Policy Directive. Broadly speaking, the newly announced policy will make published research resulting from DOE funds available to the public on the Web. This policy follows a similar, and long-standing policy by the National Institutes of Health. The DOE Public Access Plan is being received with mixed criticism by stakeholders on both sides of the open access debate, evidenced by commentary from Michael Eisen, an OA advocate, and The Scholarly Kitchen, the generally OA-skeptical blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing. Andrea Peterson, for the Washington Post, offers an overview and balanced perspective also.

One source of contention is the mechanism by which access is provided. Rather than directly hosting full text documents, the DOE portal, PAGES (Public Access Gateway for Energy & Science) will contain basic metadata with links to the full text on the publisher’s website when the Version of Record can be made available, or in a repository when the final Version of Record can’t be made available due to the terms of the publication agreement. Much of this is accomplished via the publisher-administered CHORUS (Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States). Critics have argued that CHORUS, itself a controversial topic, tips the scale of control too far towards the publishers, whose profit motive doesn’t always cohere with free and unfettered public access. Yet another point of difference centers on publisher-mandated embargoes, which delay release of the full text for a period of 12 months.

Of course, much remains to be seen as to how the public access policy will actually play out, which makes sense given that this is just the initial announcement. PAGES exists in beta right now and the DOE is inviting user feedback on the system. We should be seeing many more policies similar to this one in the near future as other agencies role out their own public access policies.

Florida State University Libraries offers support and resources for compliance with public access policies through our Office of Scholarly Communication.