open access

So FSU passed an open access policy… what does that mean for me?

Perhaps you are a new professor at Florida State University. And perhaps you have some articles you would like to publish. However, there are a few things getting in your way:

  1. Publishing contracts often confusing and restrictive, leaving faculty with little control over their work once it has been published
  2. The journals you would like to publish in often keep your work behind a paywall so that only a fraction of the world’s population can access it (which decreases your the impact of your research)
  3. Journals that do allow you to make your work openly available often have high article processing charges (APCs) which you can’t necessarily afford

CcAVRFDXIAAQTSMTwo recent developments may help you with these conundrums. The first is the Faculty Senate Open Access Policy. This policy was passed by unanimous vote on February 17th of this year. It creates a safe harbor for faculty intellectual property rights by granting FSU permission to share scholarly journal articles for non-commercial purposes. Basically, this gives faculty the language to avoid overly-restrictive publication contracts, and allows them to more easily share their work, despite publishers’ efforts to put scholarship behind a paywall.

sm-diginolelaunchThe launch of DigiNole: FSU’s Research Repository comes on the heels of the OA Policy, and provides faculty with a platform for making their research publicly available online. DigiNole is an open access repository, which allows anyone to view the scholarship contained within it. By making all of FSU’s articles available in repositories like DigiNole, scholars and researchers can increase the visibility and impact of their research by 50-500%, according to several studies. You can even track your impact more easily with DigiNole, since faculty who deposit their scholarship get monthly readership reports with analytics on the use of their scholarship. Having easy access to these numbers can help with hiring and promotion, as it gives you concrete and tangible evidence of your impact.

The Office of Digital Research and Scholarship at the University Libraries specializes in academic publishing and open access. If you have any questions about DigiNole or the OA policy, contact Devin Soper (850.645.2600), Scholarly Communications Librarian at Strozier Library.

How does Open Access relate to subscription journal pricing?

FSU Libraries have been forced to cancel a ‘big deal’ journal package with Springer. The available budget for library collections at FSU has remained flat for the past five years, while the cost of library resources has risen by 4-6% annually, and by as much as 9% for journal subscriptions in STEM-related fields. This situation is inherently unsustainable, and it is the product of the subscription-based model of scholarly publishing. Under this model, the cost of journal subscriptions has increased at 300% the rate of inflation since 1986, resulting in tremendous financial burden on academic libraries and their parent universities. The subscription model also restricts the dissemination of faculty research, placing it behind paywalls so that anyone who can’t pay can’t read it, and thereby limiting its impact on other researchers and the general public.

Open Access (OA) is a movement based on the principle that this situation is fundamentally unjust, and that the fruits of academic endeavor should be freely available to everyone. OA archiving and publishing are the two main strategies for accomplishing this goal, and they promise to benefit both the global research community and individual authors, moving published research into the open and thereby broadening its readership and generating more citations. OA is also fast becoming a requirement for recipients of research funding, as many public and private funding agencies are enacting public access policies to make the results of funded research accessible to all.

But how is OA relevant to FSU Libraries’ current budget crisis? Does OA provide viable alternatives to the subscription-based model of scholarly publishing? How does OA propose to counteract the predatory pricing practices of commercial academic publishers, and how successful has it been in that effort thus far? Do current developments suggest that OA will provide a long-term solution in future? To explore these questions, let’s take a closer look at the main forms of OA and how they compare to the traditional model.

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Open Access Week 2015

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Did you know that the e-journals you access through FSU Libraries are unavailable to most students and researchers in the developing world? What about people here in the US? Did you know that most members of the general public also don’t have access? The internet has revolutionized the way that we share and access information, yet most scholarly e-books and journal articles remain locked behind paywalls for the average reader.

Open Access is a movement based on the principle that this situation is fundamentally unjust, and that the fruits of academic endeavor should be freely available to the public. Open Access is also increasingly becoming a requirement for recipients of research funding, with governments and funding agencies increasingly adopting public-access policies to make the results of funded research accessible to all.

Making your work publicly available can also benefit you as an author, increasing the reach and impact of your work by making it more discoverable and potentially generating more downloads and citations than you would if your work remained locked behind paywalls.  

So, what can you do to start taking advantage of these benefits? And how can you get involved in the OA movement, more generally? (more…)

Open Access Week 2014

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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:

STUDENTS

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.