Open Access, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources

Category Archives: Virginia Tech

How much Virginia Tech research is open access?

What percentage of Virginia Tech’s published research articles are open access in some form, and how do we compare with other universities?  The answers, using four sources, are “around 50%” and “not well,” respectively.

The sources used are CWTS Leiden Ranking, COKI (both openly available), SciVal/Scopus, and Dimensions (both proprietary).  All cover the years 2017-2020, except for COKI, which is 2020 only.  Virginia Tech’s percentage of open access articles was highest in CWTS (54.7%) and lowest in SciVal (44.1%).  Results from the four data sources were entered into a spreadsheet to show how Virginia Tech compares to its 25 SCHEV peers, as well as to other Virginia universities.  For SCHEV peers, the presence of an open access policy and an open access fund are also noted where information was available.

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The Open Access Policy at Virginia Tech: Year 1+

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). Continue reading

A New Author Rights Benefit (a.k.a. Open Access Policy) at Virginia Tech

On March 22, 2021, an open access policy was passed by Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors, an achievement that was years in the making. The new policy might be better named an author rights benefit, since the policy retains rights for authors, rather than requiring deposit (as “policy” implies).  In this respect, the policy is consistent with “rights retention” policies at numerous other U.S. universities.

The new open access language is now part of the university’s Policy 13000 (PDF), at the bottom of page 4:

8. For Scholarly Articles: Authors grant to the university a nonexclusive license to copyright in their scholarly articles in order to provide open access (free, public, online access) to them via the university repository. However, anything deposited in the university repository is subject to the provisions of all the numbered paragraphs above. An author may waive the license for a particular article or delay access for a specified period of time. The university may not sell the articles. Authors deposit in the university repository an electronic copy of their unformatted, post peer-review, accepted manuscript for each scholarly article within one month after the date of its publication. Upon deposit of accepted manuscripts into the university repository, the university grants authors a nonexclusive license to share accepted manuscripts elsewhere.

The open access policy guide has everything Virginia Tech researchers need to know, but here are a few key points:

  • Authors at Virginia Tech can deposit their accepted manuscript (the version after peer review, not the journal’s published version) as early as the day it’s accepted, with no embargo, regardless of the journal’s copyright transfer agreement (a very few journals may require a waiver).
  • The deposit window extends one month after publication.  To get the greatest benefit from an open access version, it’s important to have it available when others are looking for it, often as the result of a table of contents alert or Google Scholar alert.  Additionally, after publication the article metadata will be available in Elements, so deposit only involves identifying the article in your publications list and uploading the file.
  • In addition to Elements, there’s also a web deposit form and an email deposit option (a waiver is also available through all three options).
  • Everyone at Virginia Tech is covered by the policy.  Although more than 50 universities have open access policies, ours is among a very few that includes students and staff (the others are the University of California system, Penn State, and the University of North Texas).
  • The policy applies only to scholarly articles, not books or other forms of scholarship.
  • The policy is not retrospective, and applies only to manuscripts accepted after the policy was passed.  Deposit of article versions accepted prior to policy passage is still dependent on journal permissions.  If you still have your accepted manuscript, you can look up permissions on the Sherpa Romeo website, or get help by emailing
Image of the Open Access Policy Guide homepage
Explore the Policy Guide

The policy provides an important path to open access when other options may not be available.  Some journals have no sharing policy at all — once the copyright transfer agreement is signed, the article is paywalled indefinitely.  Some journals have lengthy embargos (for Elsevier, up to 48 months).  Some disciplines lack open access journals.  And the article processing charges at some open access journals can be a barrier for those without funding.  The new policy at Virginia Tech — allowing immediate open access to the accepted, peer reviewed version — overcomes all of these obstacles. And it’s worth noting that not every university provides researchers this right — for example, Virginia Tech is the only university in Virginia with an open access policy.

Open Access Week will feature a forum discussion of the policy on Monday, October 25, with special guest and open access expert Peter Suber of Harvard University. A PDN session on the policy will be held the following day at 3:00pm, and sessions will be available throughout the year.

Announcing Open Textbook: Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance

The University Libraries at Virginia Tech in collaboration with Dr. James F. Marchman, III, Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Virginia Tech are pleased to announce publication of open textbook, Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance, 3rd edition. 

Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance, 3rd edition is a 236-page introduction to aircraft aerodynamics and performance. The objective of this text is to provide a “stand alone” coverage of basic, subsonic, aircraft performance preceded by an introduction to the basics of aerodynamics that will provide a background sufficient to the understanding of the subjects to be studied in aircraft performance. This text is designed for a course in Aircraft Performance that is taught before students take courses in fluid mechanics, fluid dynamics, or aerodynamics and is meant to provide the essential information from these types of courses that is needed for teaching basic subsonic aircraft performance, and it is assumed that the students will learn the full story of aerodynamics in other, later courses.

Cover credit: Kindred Grey

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction to Aerodynamics
Chapter 2. Propulsion
Chapter 3. Additional Aerodynamics Tools
Chapter 4. Performance in Straight and Level Fight
Chapter 5. Altitude Change: Climb and Guide
Chapter 6. Range and Endurance
Chapter 7. Accelerated Performance: Takeoff and Landing
Chapter 8. Accelerated Performance: Turns
Chapter 9. The Role of Performance in Aircraft Design: Constraint Analysis
Appendix A: Airfoil Data

Free Access to Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance, 3rd edition
A full table of contents, downloadable versions of this book (PDF and ePub), and additional information are freely available at: An accessible, online version of this book is also available via the Pressbooks platform at Print on demand versions may be ordered with a variety of binding options from

Instructors reviewing, adopting, or adapting parts or the whole of the text are requested to register their interest at: 

Creative commons attribution 4.0 license

Unless otherwise noted, the text and figures are released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 license which allows adaptation and redistribution with attribution. See the license terms and best practices for attribution for additional information.

Audience This college undergraduate-level text requires prior introduction to the most fundamental concepts of statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, and basic conservation laws which are usually covered in a university level Physics sequence. It is also assumed that students will have completed first-year university level calculus sequence plus a course in multivariable calculus. Separate courses in engineering statics and dynamics are helpful but not necessary. Any student who takes a course using this text after completing courses in aerodynamics or fluid dynamics should find the chapters of this book covering those subjects an interesting review of the material.

Developing Custom Version(s) in Community Instructors and subject matter experts interested in forming collaborative efforts to develop and share their own version(s) of the material are requested to join the project-update conversation on the Rebus Foundation open-textbooks-in-development website.

Suggested citation: Marchman, James, III. (2021). Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance. Blacksburg: VA: University Libraries at Virginia Tech. CC BY 4.0.

About the Author: Dr. James F. Marchman, III is Professor Emeritus of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and a former Associate Dean of Engineering at Virginia Tech where he taught and conducted research in aerodynamics, aircraft performance, aircraft design and other areas over a 40 year career. His textbook, Aircraft Design Projects For Engineering Students, coauthored by Professor Lloyd R. Jenkinson of Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, [Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003] has been used by students around the world.

Cover art:

  • The Centuria is a design for a lightweight general aviation four-place aircraft created by Virginia Tech and Loughborough University Aerospace Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, or Aeronautical Engineering students. Used with permission. Courtesy of Dr. Marchman.
  • Cloud background by Alan Levine. Public Domain. Retrieved and adapted from

Instructors reviewing, adopting, or adapting parts or the whole of the text are requested to register their interest at:

We hope it takes off!

An Update on the Proposed Open Access Policy at Virginia Tech

The proposed open access policy at Virginia Tech has recently changed in two important ways. First, as a result of meetings with University Counsel, the working group will propose adding language to the university’s existing Policy on Intellectual Property, No. 13000, rather than proposing a separate policy. Second, the proposed language now includes all Virginia Tech authors of scholarly articles, not just faculty. This change came at the suggestion of the Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies, and the working group is now reaching out to undergraduate and staff representatives for input. See the working group’s policy page for details, including the resolution and marked-up Policy 13000, FAQ, and more.  The resolution will be presented at the Commission on Research this fall.  If it successfully passes through university governance, it would go into effect on July 1, 2021.

Policy homepage

Questions? Check the policy homepage

While no longer a free-standing proposal, the new language retains the core elements of a Harvard-style open access policy, namely the grant of a non-exclusive license to the university to allow hosting accepted manuscripts, an embargo option, and a per-article waiver. These elements allow authors to share their accepted manuscript from the day of its acceptance, without concern about violating the terms of their publishing contract. Similar policies have been in place at more than 50 U.S. universities for more than ten years.  The policy will help level the playing field with some of our SCHEV peers who already have policies, and who therefore have a greater ability to share research than Virginia Tech authors.

The importance of open access has been underlined by the coronavirus epidemic, not just for directly related research, but for all types of research. Copyright has never been a good fit for scholarly articles, which we freely give to journals, only to have access restricted.  It has never made sense that our research is out of reach for colleagues at some universities, scholars in low- and middle-income countries, taxpayers, policymakers, and our own alumni.

Open Access symbol "unlock"

The proposed policy is an important opportunity for Virginia Tech authors, but it will only matter if authors take advantage of it.  In the working group’s outreach over the past three years, the proposal consistently received a positive response.  We hope you will convey your support to your representatives in university governance.

If your question isn’t answered in our FAQ, feel free to email the working group at, or comment on this blog post (comments are open for 30 days).