OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Oregon State University Open Access FAQ

GENERAL OPEN ACCESS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What is "Open Access"?

2. How does Open Access benefit faculty?

3. How does Open Access benefit citizens?

4. How is Open Access to research publications achieved?

5. What are some elements commonly found in other green Open Access policies?

6. What is the difference between Open Access and Open Source?

7. Why was an OSU Open Access policy proposed for Faculty Senate consideration in 2013?

OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY OPEN ACCESS POLICY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

8. Does OSU have an Open Access policy?

9. What kinds of writings does the OSU Open Access policy apply to?

10. Why does the OSU Open Access policy use an automatic license? Why not just let individuals invoke the policy themselves?

11. What do faculty need to do to comply with the OSU Open Access policy?

12. Does OSU have an Open Access Institutional Repository?

13. What version of their article should Faculty submit under the terms of the OSU Open Access policy?

14. Does the OSU Open Access policy support embargoed publications?

15. What effect will the OSU Open Access policy have on the ability of Faculty to publish in the journals of their choice?

16. Will Open Access to my articles adversely affect a society publisher’s circulation and/or advertising revenue?

17. Can Faculty opt out of this policy?

18. Will the OSU Open Access policy increase Faculty vulnerability to piracy of our intellectual property? Will it enable plagiarism?

19. Publishers usually require Faculty to check a box indicating transfer of copyright before a paper is published. Will Faculty be in compliance with the OSU Open Access policy if they checked the box?

20. Why is the license so broad? What are the implications of the phrase "authorize others to do the same"?

21. How does the policy apply to papers with one or more co-authors outside of OSU?

22. Could I retract a paper later if a publisher required me to do so?

23. Where can I learn more about the Open Access movement?

General Open Access Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is “Open Access?”

Open Access refers to unrestricted online access to any form of creative work or scholarship. Work that is available Open Access is freely available online to anyone in the world with an internet connection and a web browser. The OSU Open Access policy includes only scholarly articles (see below).

2. How does Open Access benefit faculty?

Open Access increases the visibility and impact of faculty scholarship. Studies show that articles available through Open Access are cited more often than those available only through subscription. Increased visibility and use of Open Access articles increases impact, as demonstrated by increased citations. See also: a summary of open access citation advantage studies.

As a land-, sea-, space-, and sun grant institution, the people who will ultimately use some of our research aren’t other scientists. They are practitioners and decision-makers, or in some cases school teachers and students. Impacts of especially practitioner-based scholarship may be better measured by the number of times these works are downloaded than by citation studies. ScholarsArchive@OSU provides download statistics for every item and collection of items in the repository. Some Faculty articles deposited to ScholarsArchive@OSU have been downloaded more than 1000 times.

Articles available open access in ScholarsArchive@OSU are preserved, cataloged, indexed and collocated, bringing together all of an individual faculty's scholarship, an academic unit's scholarship, and the institution's scholarship. Oregon State University will provide persistent storage of and access to a digital copy of your work, ensuring that it will continue to be available to readers. Each article has a persistent URL and metadata pertaining to the article DOI. The web page at Oregon State University that this URL points to includes a link and citation information for the original article on the publisher's web site as well as an archival copy in the OSU repository that is accessible to those who do not have subscription access to the published version.

Federal agency Open Access mandates are becoming more common, and pending federal legislation would vastly increase the numbers of funded research works for which open access will be a requirement. A license given to OSU will allow the university to make the process of fulfilling these mandates much easier for individual authors.

(Partly from the Benefits to Open Access at Duke University)

3. How does Open Access benefit citizens?

A key element of the land grant mission is public access. Taxpayers fund universities and faculty to do research. Open Access allows the fruits of that research to be read and used by taxpayers, decision-makers, teachers and students. OSU’s Extension and Experiment Station recognizes the importance of making OSU research available to the public by making every one of their publications available Open Access. Open Access also makes knowledge available to people in the developing world, not just to those colleagues and students who belong to institutions that can afford subscriptions to the journal literature.

4. How is Open Access to research publications achieved?

There are two ways to make your scholarship available Open Access:

    Green Open Access: Deposit your research in an Open Access repository such as ScholarsArchive@OSU or PubMed Central. Most, but not all, journals and publishers allow the deposit of the accepted manuscript versions of articles (this is the final version of the article prior to copy editing and formatting done by the publisher) to Open Access repositories.
    Gold Open Access: Publish your article in an Open Access journal. Open Access journals often finance themselves using a variety of alternative funding models, including charging article processing fees to the author.

The OSU Open Access policy is a green open access policy and allows faculty to publish in the journals of their choice.

5. What are some elements commonly found in green Open Access policies?

The Harvard University Office for Scholarly Communication maintains a guide to good practices for university OA policies. Oregon State University's proposed Open Access policy is very similar to those passed at Harvard, Duke, MIT, Kansas and Rhode Island whereby the institution is granted certain non-exclusive rights to future research articles published by faculty. Articles are required to be deposited to the ScholarsArchive@OSU open access repository for open dissemination. The policy includes a waiver option that guarantees that faculty are free to decide against OA for any publication. The policy merely shifts the default from non-deposit and non-OA to deposit and OA for OSU faculty articles.

6. What is the difference between Open Access and Open Source?

Open Source software, like free software, is a kind of software, namely, software whose source code is freely available for inspection or modification. Open Access is a kind of access or availability.

(From the Budapest Open Access Initiative: Frequently Asked Questions)

7. Why was an Open Access policy proposed for Faculty Senate consideration?

An OSU Open Access Policy represents a powerful, collective statement about the Faculty commitment to promote the access to and use of our scholarship by the wider public. The primary aim of this policy is to make our scholarship more widely discoverable and available. We are asserting Faculty control over the publication of scholarly research, and recognize our responsibility for making that process sustainable and true to the intentions of scholars.

(Partly from the Open Access Policy FAQ at UC San Francisco)

OSU Open Access Policy Frequently Asked Questions

8. Does OSU have an Open Access policy?

An Open Access policy was unanimously approved by the Oregon State University Faculty Senate at the June 13, 2013 meeting.

The policy applies to scholarly articles completed after the policy was adopted on June 13, 2013.

9. What kinds of writings does the OSU Open Access policy apply to?

Only scholarly articles. Using terms from the Budapest Open Access Initiative, faculty's scholarly articles are articles that describe the fruits of their research and that they give to the world for the sake of inquiry and knowledge without expectation of payment. Such articles are typically presented in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and conference proceedings. This policy does not include or address: books, popular articles, commissioned lecture notes, fiction, poetry, encyclopedia entries, ephemeral writings, or other copyrighted works generated as part of other publishing or distribution mechanisms.

(Partly from the Open Access Policies FAQ at Harvard University's Office for Scholarly Communication)

10. Why does the OSU Open Access policy use an automatic license? Why not just let individuals invoke the policy themselves?

Experience has shown that mere exhortations have little effect on author's behavior. Before Congress enacted the NIH Public Access Policy, participation was optional. During that period, there was only a 4% level of compliance. Opt-out systems such as the OSU policy achieve much higher degrees of participation than opt-in systems, even while remaining non-coercive. By making a blanket policy, individual Faculty benefit from their membership in the policy-making group. The University can work with publishers and other universities on behalf of the Faculty to simplify procedures and broaden access.

(Partly from the Open Access Policy FAQ at UC San Francisco)

11. What do faculty need to do to comply with the OSU Open Access policy?

In order to assist the University in distributing scholarly articles, each Faculty member will provide a digital copy of the accepted (post-peer review, pre-typeset) manuscript of the article to the OSU Libraries as either an email attachment or using a simple web form. The OSU Libraries will make the article available to the public on the author's behalf in the ScholarsArchive@OSU institutional repository. See the Open Access web page for instructions.

12. Does OSU have an Open Access Institutional Repository?

Yes. ScholarsArchive@OSU is Oregon State University's Open Access institutional repository. ScholarsArchive@OSU is regularly ranked among the top 10 single institution digital repositories in the country based on size, number of items, and discoverability of content in Google and Google Scholar. As of December 2012, the repository contains over 3,900 faculty articles, 13,000 theses and dissertations, and thousands of presentations, technical reports, books, data sets and other forms of OSU scholarship.

13. What version of their article should Faculty submit under the terms of the OSU Open Access policy?

The policy requires that the author submit the "author's accepted manuscript" version of the article. This means the manuscript copy post-peer review but before a publisher typesets and finalizes it. If the publisher allows deposit of the final published version, the library will deposit that version too with prominent metadata indicating which version is which, and embargo each as appropriate.

14. Does the OSU Open Access policy support embargoed publications?

Some publishers allow you to post your manuscript to a repository only after a defined embargo period. The library will apply publisher embargoes accordingly. We will not provide access to your manuscript until the publisher's embargo period has passed.

15. What effect will the OSU Open Access policy have on the ability of Faculty to publish in the journals of their choice?

None. The policy is completely agnostic with respect to where a Faculty member chooses to publish: it requires that Faculty grant OSU a non-exclusive license to make the article available in the ScholarsArchive@OSU institutional repository. A small number of publishers require that authors at institutions with open access policies receive a waiver from the policy. The following publishers have informed the library that they require a waiver: ARRS, Imprint Academic, Institute of Physics, JTE Multimedia. AAAS and Nature Publishing Group also routinely require waivers from university Open Access policies.

In these cases, the author may opt out of the application of the OSU license by getting a waiver. See the Open Access web page for instructions.

16. Will open access to my articles adversely affect a society publisher’s circulation and/or advertising revenue?

Understandably, a professional society wants to serve its membership with high quality information and it needs to stay financially afloat to do that. Allowing you to contribute a version of your article to the ScholarsArchive@OSU open access repository does not have to compete with this goal. Many professional societies and publishers allow deposit of an article after an “embargo” period during which the published version is the only one available. The policy will honor any embargo periods requested by faculty. When the embargo is lifted the article is made freely available online.

17. Can Faculty opt out of the OSU Open Access policy?

Faculty who do not want a given article to be made open access for any reason can obtain a waiver to the policy, which will be automatically granted. See the Open Access web page for instructions.

18. Will the OSU Open Access policy increase Faculty vulnerability to piracy of our intellectual property? Will it enable plagiarism?

The policy creates an open access version of a scholarly article covered by copyright. All of the rights and duties that exist in the case of traditional publication remain in the case of the Open Access version, including the ability to prosecute in cases of piracy or plagiarism. If anything, it will deter piracy by allowing access to a freely available version of an article that might otherwise be distributed unlawfully. Plagiarism is something that cannot be addressed by an open access policy.

19. Publishers usually require Faculty to check a box indicating transfer of copyright before a paper is published. Will Faculty be in compliance with the policy if they checked the box?

Faculty are free to transfer their copyright to whomever they wish, but articles are henceforth subject to a pre-existing, non-exclusive license to OSU. In practice, Faculty may opt out of the Open Access requirement, meaning that the policy requires only that a copy of the pre-publication version of an article be deposited with OSU, though not made available within the repository.

For situations in which a publishing agreement is in conflict with the license granted to OSU under its Open Access policy, authors may submit to the publisher a publishing agreement addendum (provided by OSU Libraries) that reconciles the conflict, choose to publish elsewhere, or obtain a waiver (automatically granted) that will remove the OSU license to that article. Faculty should think carefully before transferring copyright to any publisher, and consider the benefits of a modified publication agreement. Many Faculty routinely modify their agreements to retain certain rights, and many publishers comply. It is important to remember that the OSU license has force even when a later conflicting publishing agreement is signed , because it would have been granted (through this policy) prior to the signing of the publisher contract.

20. Why is the license so broad? What are the implications of the phrase "authorize others to do the same"?

The license to OSU enables the broadest possible accessibility and use of the articles in terms of not limiting access to specific people or limiting specific kinds of uses beyond those that violate the copyright or involve the selling of the article for profit. Users of the articles are still responsible for complying with copyright law regarding use of the articles.

The license also enables OSU to grant rights back to the author. Authors sign away most or all of their rights to publishers when they sign a publication agreement. The clause "authorize others to do the same" gives the university permission to transfer these rights back to the author. The effect is that authors retain (or regain) certain rights to their work, including rights that they might have transferred away in their publishing contracts.

For these reasons, the set of rights transferred to the institution should be as broad as possible, so that the author thereby retains or regains the broadest possible set of rights so that authors can legally distribute their articles from their own web sites (as they often do illicitly now), use them for their classes, develop derivative works, and the like. In this sense, the policy leads to authors retaining rights, not just universities obtaining rights.

(Partly from the Harvard University Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies)

21. How does the policy apply to papers with one or more co-authors outside of OSU?

In legal terms co-authors have an "undivided interest" in the entire work; thus, a co-author can deposit a work to ScholarsArchive@OSU even if s/he is not the primary author or is one of many authors. As a practical matter we would expect OSU co-authors to check with and inform their co-authors of the policy and of any open access deposit of their work. It is up to the author to decide whether to opt out of the policy for a given article to accomodate the wishes of a co-author.

22. Could I retract a paper later if a publisher required me to do so?

It is possible to remove a paper, particularly in cases involving a legal dispute. Contact scholarsarchive@oregonstate.edu with the URL of your paper to have a paper retracted.

23. Where can I learn more about the Open Access movement?

Contact scholarsarchive@oregonstate.edu to invite faculty to discuss the policy with you individually or with your department or unit.

Excellent educational materials about Open Access are available through the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Consortium (SPARC) website, as well as through other sites active in promoting Open Access, including:

  • Follow the Oregon State University Open Access blog.
  • Peter Suber's excellent Field Guide to Misunderstandings About OA.
  • Nearly all Open Access policies passed by faculty at universities such as Harvard, Duke, MIT, Kansas, and many others are green policies in that they require faculty to deposit a final manuscript version of their articles to the respective university's institutional repository. At all of these institutions, waivers are available upon request.

Open Access Policy (OSU)

OSU Open Access Policy

Press Release

Additional Information about Open Access

Open Access Publishing Support

History of OA at OSU

OSU Open Access Hall of Fame

Open Access at OSU Blog (current events about OA that pertain to OSU faculty)

Open Access Overview (Peter Suber)

SPARC: The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

Contact

Michael Boock (Head of Center for Digital Scholarship and Services)