Open Access, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources

Category Archives: University Libraries at Virginia Tech

Open Access Journals for Scholarly Societies

A few months ago Stuart Sheiber, the primary architect of Harvard’s open access policies, wrote about why open access is better for scholarly societies.

As he notes, many societies (as well as universities like Virginia Tech) use the word “disseminate” in their mission statement, yet it’s only recently that some are taking a closer look at how dissemination is carried out. It’s been an afterthought, though it should be an integral part of the research process. Obviously, it is far more effective to disseminate knowledge openly than behind a paywall. But removing the paywall leaves the question of a society’s sustainability.

More recently Heather Piwowar has posted a very helpful guide to some of the open access options for journals that her society has been looking into, and Eric Kansa has a great post that takes a wide-ranging look at sustainability for archaeological societies.

Sheiber argues strongly for author-side charges (sometimes called author processing charges or APCs) rather than reader-side charges (subscriptions). I agree that this should provide a more competitive market, largely due to increased transparency. And though author-side charges are working well for a number of journals, I have mixed feelings about them. Some fields don’t get much grant support, so charges can’t be written into them. Though Virginia Tech has an open access publishing fund to support these charges, most universities don’t. Those who do have grants may want to use the money for things other than publishing. Some funders may not allow charges to be covered, instead requiring article archiving.

Support for the costs of publishing is not limited to subscriptions or author-side fees, though. There are many possible funding models. One option is subsidized publishing from the university. Virginia Tech’s University Libraries is now promoting its journal publishing services. The library hosts the journal, and the Open Journal Systems (OJS) software allows editors to manage submissions and peer review (OJS also allows societies to charge author-side fees if desired).

Support for Open Access at the University Libraries

Welcome to the Open@VT blog, where the focus will be library support for open access (see the links on the upper left) as well as other aspects of openness. Part of the impetus for the blog was the realization that our outreach efforts needed to be year-round and not just focused on Open Access Week, which we held for the first time in October 2012. Library support for OA activities has ramped up significantly in the last couple of years, and now we have a pilot OA publishing (subvention) fund, discounts on article publishing charges as a result of institutional memberships, a new institutional repository for archiving scholarship, VTechWorks, and we host a growing number of OA journals. Virginia Tech was the first university to require ETDs back in 1997, the vast majority of which are openly available. In addition, we provide training through the Faculty Development Institute (FDI) (also open to graduate students) for VTechWorks, data management plans, and open access/copyright. We’ll be examining these efforts in more detail in future blog posts, but in the meantime, please feel free to comment, send me ideas, spread the news, and thanks for your patience as I learn to blog.

Open@VT on Mastodon

Loading Mastodon feed...