Steps a university can take in support of OA

See: Open Access at Concordia University: A Report for the Office of Research, Kathleen Shearer, March 27, 2009 [9-page PDF]. The report includes sections on: What is open access?; How is open access implemented?; State of play; Why does open access matter for Concordia?; Options.

The principal option that’s proposed is the implementation of an OA policy . It’s pointed out that a “sustainable OA repository is an essential element for supporting an open access policy“.

In addition to the adoption of an OA policy, it’s suggested that the university could join other universities in endorsing major open access statements, “to indicate to the international community [the university’s] formal commitment to open access.

Activities to support faculty members’ open access endeavors are also suggested. In particular, “the university might encourage faculty authors to modify restrictive publishing contracts so that they can deposit their work into an OA repository“.

The university “could also support the transition [of its university-based journals] to open access models by providing them with expertise and infrastructure support“.

Finally, “the university should continue the practice of giving due weight in promotion and tenure committees to peer-reviewed publications regardless of their price, medium, or business model, and also ensure that scholars are rewarded and encouraged for scholarly works whether or not they fall outside the traditional publishing system“.

The report also includes Annexes on: 1) Major Definitions of Open Access; 2) CIHR Policy on Access to Research Outputs September 2007; 3) Sample University Open Access Policies; 4) Further Reading.

Annex 3 includes the OA policies adopted by MIT Faculty and by the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Comment: This is a succinct and well-written report that was prepared for the Office of Research of Concordia University. However, it should be helpful to members of any university who are interested in supporting OA. For example, there’s an urgent need to ensure “that scholars are rewarded and encouraged for scholarly works whether or not they fall outside the traditional publishing system

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