Open Access, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources

The Open Access Policy at Virginia Tech: Year 1+

by Philip Young, posted on August 30, 2022

It’s been well over a year since Virginia Tech’s open access policy was approved by the Board of Visitors on March 22, 2021.  So how many article deposits has VTechWorks received under the policy?  For the purposes of recording statistics, we’ll define the year as July 1 through June 30.  Because the policy went into effect in late March, we’ll define the first “year” as March 22, 2021 through June 30, 2022 (15 months).  For this time period, 196 accepted versions were deposited into VTechWorks (almost all through Elements).

This number should increase in 2022-2023, for several reasons.  More VT colleges and schools are using Elements, which makes it easy to deposit articles, and also identifies which ones are covered by the policy.  The Elements system also enables email reminders for eligible articles that are not in the repository, which we are considering piloting with selected Virginia Tech units.  As more researchers attend PDN sessions on the policy, awareness will increase.  In addition, there may be more attention paid to access following the OSTP memorandum on public access to federally funded research.  For these reasons, a doubling of deposits to 400 seems like a reasonable goal for 2022-2023.  (If any VT college, department, or institute would like a presentation on the OA policy, or would like to turn on email reminders, please email

The policy provides a way to provide free, convenient, immediate public access to peer-reviewed research that would otherwise be solely behind a paywall.  No need to pay a high article processing charge (APC), or wait out a lengthy embargo.  Articles in VTechWorks are indexed by services like Google Scholar and Unpaywall, enabling interested readers to find them, and a direct link to the PDF appears in publication lists on Virginia Tech Experts.  There’s evidence for an open access citation advantage, as well as an altmetrics advantage. Virginia Tech is not only a public, land-grant institution, we are the only university in Virginia with an open access policy.  So take advantage of it by saving and depositing those accepted versions! And if you’re wondering how much Virginia Tech research is open access, a blog post about sources for open access data will be coming soon.