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International Open Access Week: October 20-26, 2014

International Open Access Week: October 20-26, 2014

Open Access Week

Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. (However, it is not free to produce). What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder. OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance. Just as authors of journal articles donate their labor, so do most journal editors and referees participating in peer review.

Faculty Support OA

  • Submit your research articles to OA journals, when there are appropriate OA journals in your field.
  • Deposit your preprints in an open-access, OAI-compliant archive.
  • Deposit your postprints in an open-access repository.
  • Deposit your data files in an OA archive along with the articles built on them. Whenever possible, link to the data files from the articles, and vice versa, so that readers of one know where to find the other.
  • When asked to referee a paper or serve on the editorial board for an OA journal, accept the invitation.
  • If you are an editor of a toll-access journal, then start an in-house discussion about converting to OA, experimenting with OA, letting authors retain copyright, abolishing the Ingelfinger rule, or declaring independence (quitting and launching an OA journal to serve the same research niche).
  • Volunteer to serve on your university’s committee to evaluate faculty for promotion and tenure. Make sure the committee is using criteria that, at the very least, do not penalize faculty for publishing in peerreviewed OA journals. At best, adjust the criteria to give faculty an incentive to provide OA to their peerreviewed research articles and preprints, either through OA journals or OA archives.
  • See how other learned societies support OA.
  • Work with your professional societies to make sure they understand OA. Persuade the organization to make its own journals OA, endorse OA for other journals in the field, and support OA eprint archiving by all scholars in the field.
  • Write opinion pieces (articles, journal editorials, newspapers op-eds, letters to the editor, discussion forum postings) advancing the cause of OA.
  • Educate the next generation of scientists and scholars about OA. (Open Access Week Blog, Jennifer McLennan)

Universities and Administrators Support OA

  • Adopt a policy: In hiring, promotion, and tenure, the university will give due weight to all peer-reviewed publications, regardless of price or medium.
  • Adopt a policy: faculty who publish articles must either (1) retain copyright, and transfer only the right of first print and electronic publication, or (2) transfer copyright but retain the right of postprint archiving.
  • Adopt a policy: when faculty cannot get the funds to pay the processing fee charged by an OA journal from their research grant, then the university will pay the fee.
  • See to it that the university launches an open-access, OAI-compliant archive.
  • Adopt policies encouraging or requiring faculty to fill the institutional archive with their research articles and preprints.
  • Adopt a policy: all theses and dissertations, upon acceptance, must be made openly accessible, for example, through the institutional repository or one of the multi-institutional OA archives for theses and dissertations.
  • Adopt a policy: all conferences hosted at your university will provide open access to their presentations or proceedings, even if the conference also chooses to publish them in a priced journal or book.
  • Adopt a policy: all journals hosted or published by your university will either be OA or take steps to be friendlier to OA. See examples.
  • Support, even reward, faculty who launch OA journals. (Open Access Week Blog, Jennifer McLennan)
OA Nuts and Bolts

There are two primary vehicles for delivering OA to research articles: OA journals and OA archives or repositories.

OA Journals

OA journals perform peer review and then make the approved contents freely available to the world. Their expenses consist of peer review, manuscript preparation, and server space.

OA journals pay their bills very much the way broadcast television and radio stations do: those with an interest in disseminating the content pay the production costs upfront so that access can be free of charge for everyone with the right equipment. Sometimes this means that journals have a subsidy from the hosting university or professional society. Sometimes it means that
journals charge a processing fee on accepted articles, to be paid by the author or the author’s sponsor (employer, funding agency).

OA journals that charge processing fees usually waive them in cases of economic hardship.

OA journals with institutional subsidies tend to charge no processing fees. OA journals can get by on lower subsidies or fees if they have income from other publications, advertising, priced add-ons, or auxiliary services. Some institutions and consortia arrange fee discounts. Some OA publishers waive the fee for all researchers affiliated with institutions that have purchased an annual membership. There’s a lot of room for creativity in finding ways to pay the costs of a peer-reviewed OA journal, and we’re far from having exhausted our cleverness and imagination. (Open Access Week Blog, Jennifer McLennan)

OA Repositories

OA archives or repositories do not perform peer review, but simply make their contents freely available to the world. They may contain unrefereed preprints, refereed postprints, or both.

Archives may belong to institutions, such as universities and laboratories, or disciplines, such as physics and economics.

Authors may archive their preprints without anyone else’s permission, and a majority of journals already permit authors to archive their postprints. When archives comply with the metadata harvesting protocol of the Open Archives Initiative, then they are interoperable and users can find their contents without knowing which archives exist, where they are located, or what they contain. There is now open-source software for building and maintaining OAI-compliant archives and worldwide momentum for using it. The costs of an archive are negligible: some server space and a fraction of the time of a technician. (Open Access Week Blog, Jennifer McLennan)

We support Open Access

Last modified: 7/9/2014 10:44 AM by R. Neugebauer

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