Open Access at OSU

What's new with OA at Oregon State Univeristy

OSU Faculty Senate passes open access policy

Oregon State University became the first university in the Pacific Northwest to adopt a university-wide open access policy by a unanimous vote in its Faculty Senate on June 13, 2013 .    The staff of  the Center for Digital Scholarship and Services (CDSS)  are now gearing up to support OSU authors and make this new policy a success.   Read more about this at:

Library advocates for national OA policy

Among library faculty and staff at Oregon State University, there is a strong dedication to the idea of open access, of making as much academic research available to as broad an audience as possible

New OA journals

Elementa,  a new open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal focusing on the science of the anthropocene, was recently announced.  The journal publishes research in six knowledge domains: Atmospheric Science, Earth & Environmental Science, Ecology, Ocean Science, Sustainable Engineering, Sustainability Sciences.

From their website: “Publishing original research reporting on new knowledge of the Earth’s physical, chemical, and biological systems; interactions between human and natural systems; and steps that can be taken to mitigate and adapt to global change, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene will report on fundamental advancements in research organized initially into six knowledge domains, embracing the concept that basic knowledge can foster sustainable solutions for society. Elementa is published on an open-access, public-good basis—available freely and immediately to the world. ”

Jody Deming, editor and professor of oceanography at the University of Washington, explains why Elementa is important for ocean scientists: “I feel strongly about listening to the next generation of scientists who, in my experience as a professor, already find open-access to be an essential aspect of the scientific endeavor.”

A new OA journal in the Biological and Medical sciences, PeerJ, was also recently announced that offers a low-cost, lifetime membership model for authors interested in publishing in the journal.

From their website: “PeerJ is an Open Access publisher of scholarly articles. We aim to drive the costs of publishing down, while improving the overall publishing experience, and providing authors with a publication venue suitable for the 21st Century. Our tag line is: “Your Peers, Your Science. Academic Publishing Is Evolving” and we are committed to improving the process of scholarly publishing.

We have two publications serving the Biological and Medical sciences: “PeerJ” (a peer-reviewed academic journal) and “PeerJ PrePrints” (an innovative ‘preprint server’). Authors pay for a lifetime membership, which gives them the ability to publish their articles with us for free.”

Legislation to track: Fair Access to Science & Technology Research (FASTR) ACT

The Fair Access to Science & Technology Research (FASTR) ACT was introduced in both houses of the US Congress yesterday.  If/When passed, this legislation would “require federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. In addition to requiring greater access, the legislation would require agencies to examine whether introducing open licensing options for research papers they make publicly available would promote productive reuse and computational analysis of those research papers.” (ACRL Insider blog,  2/15/2013, read more at

A similar policy has been in place at the NIH and this legislation would extend that to the USDA as well as Departments of Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health & Human Services, Homeland Security, Transportation, EPA, NASA, NEH and the NSF.

The fulltext of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act is available online.

Developing an Open Access Policy for Oregon State

Earlier this year the Faculty Senate Executive Committee charged the Faculty Senate Library Committee (FSLC) with drafting an Open Access policy for OSU.  The first  step in this process was undertaken today when FSLC Chair, Marit Bovbjerg (Public Health) and Rich Carter (Chemistry) gave a short informational presentation to the to the Faculty Senate (see at: Faculty Senate Library Committee Presentation on Open Access February 14, 2013).

A Draft Open Access Policy will be made available to the campus for comment and discussion in March.  During the Spring term, the Faculty Senate will have the opportunity to discuss and vote on this policy.


Hunting for an open access publishing outlet and knowing when you are the prey.

Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, has taken on the task of maintaining a listing of what he terms “predatory” or at least questionable open access journals.  Journals and/or publishers which find themselves on this list have have not met Beall’s  set of criteria which draw on standards set out in:

The 2013 (2nd edition) of 243 “potential, possible or probably predatory scholarly open access publishers” and  126 independent journals is available at: .  The concern here is whether authors are paying fees to publish in a source which is not really interested in promoting a growing knowledge base available to all.

To put these numbers in perspective, the Directory of Open Access Journals  (DOAJ) currently includes well over 8400 titles covering all disciplines. While there is some overlap with Beall’s list, the  guidelines provided by DOAJ  for OA publishers, encourages transparent/non-predatory behaviors.

Open Access, ScholarsArchive@OSU and Usage statistics

When you want to know if your article has been cited Google Scholar  and Web of Science are useful tools.  However, only a few journals provide authors with general usage data for specific articles, and then, only if they are among the most frequently downloaded articles.

If you are interested in getting a picture of general interest in your work, having a version of your manuscript in the ScholarsArchive may be the solution.

Usage statistics for every item in the ScholarsArchive are updated on a monthly basis.   To keep these figures accurate, they are subject to a one month delay so usage for the month of November 2012 are now available but usage for December 2012 will be delayed until February 1, 2013.  This delay allows time to clean out search engine bots, spam hits, and other automatic sources of traffic that would inflate usage.  Once posted, however, the usage figures remain constant.

Statistics can be filtered by any date range if needed by using the “Limit by calendar year” buttons near the top of the page. Custom date filters can be applied by editing the dates in the URL using this formula:… /statistics?startDate=yyyy-mm-dd&endDate=yyyy-mm-dd

NIH Public Access Policy: Researcher Compliance

The NIH announced recently that as of spring 2013, it will begin to hold processing of non-competing continuation awards if publications arising from grant awards are not in compliance with the public access policy. Once publications are in compliance, awards will go forward.  Dr. Sally Rockey, Deputy Directory for Extramural Research, suggests:

  • “The challenge is that publication occurs throughout the year, and progress reporting occurs once a year. So I encourage principal investigators to start thinking about public access compliance when papers are planned. Discuss with your co-authors how the paper will be submitted to PubMed Central, and who will do so, along with all the other tasks of paper writing. The easiest thing to do, perhaps even today, is to take a couple of minutes to enter the NIH-supported papers you have published in the last year into My NCBI to ensure you meet the requirements of the policy regardless of when your non-competing continuation is due. This will help you avoid a last minute scramble that could delay your funding.”  (see more at: “Improving Public Access to Research Results”

For an overview of the NIH Public Access Policy, see: .  For more information about the policy change noted above see:

Green and Gold Open Access

OSU authors have more than one choice when they want to encourage open access to their research.   The two most common options are “green” and “gold.”  The gold path involves publishing in an open access journal.  Since these journals are not bringing in an income from subscriptions, they often charge a processing fee for the article.    A fairly comprehensive list of Open Access journals is maintained from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and can be found at:

The green path does not involve additional fees for publication.  Rather, after the article is accepted for publication, the author saves that final “manuscript” version for later deposit in an open access repository like the ScholarsArchive@OSU.

As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862,  it is a good time to remember the linkage between preserving OSU’s research heritage and open access.  Which ever path(s) we take to open access,  the in the end, Oregon and the world benefits from the research done at OSU.

Cable Green on Open Access

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Dr. Cable Green spoke on “Expanding the open agenda: From open access to an open education” on Friday, October 26th, 2012 as part of International Open Access Week at Oregon State University.  Dr. Green is the Director of Global Learning for Creative Commons and a strong advocate for open policies that ensure publicly funded education materials are freely and openly available to the public that paid for them.

This event was made possible with sponsorship from OSU’s Libraries and Press, Extended Campus, Teaching Across the Curriculum and Information Services.

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