Volume 12 Number 4
"An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.
..."By 'open access' to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited." (Budapest Open Access Initiative February 14, 2002)
The Budapest Initiative has nearly 6000 signatories from around the world. These include institutions such as foundations, universities and publishers; individual researchers, librarians and administrators.
Open access to the scholarly literature can be achieved by publishing in open access and/or hybrid access journals. Or, it can be achieved by publishing in a traditional journal and then archiving an open access version of the paper in an institutional or discipline-based repository. [See glossary.]
The focus of the open access movement is on scholarly publications created without the expectation of direct compensation. Generally, peer-reviewed journal articles would fit into this category, while many monographs, book chapters, textbooks would not.
The first approach to open access can be served by the growing number of open access journals. Yet, details and traditions related to promotion and tenure processes can result in disincentives towards these publishing venues. Groups, such as Modern Language Association have pointed to the need to re-examine promotion and tenure policies to more fully acknowledge new publishing models, the roles new technologies play in a changing world of scholarly communication and to promote open access to researcher's publications.
A significant number of publishers allow their authors to archive their work on open accessible repositories. Generally, this archiving is allowed for the final, edited version of the paper, but not for the publisher's .pdf format of the work. The RoMEO (Rights MEtadata for Open Archiving) service provides a means to check publishers' as well as journal specific policies related to authors' rights to upload their work to open repositories.
If the publisher does not - by policy - allow for "self-archiving", the author should consider requesting this right. Publishers' copyright agreement statements often result in the author signing over all of her rights. This is not required nor desirable. Organizations such as SPARC have created addenda to such agreements that can be used by the author to retain right to use her paper, and to openly archive her tangible, creative work.
* Directory of Open Access Journals
* Publishers'/Journals' self-archiving policies
* SPARC author rights information / copyright
* NIH public access policy implementation
* SPARC resources for librarians
* offer services such as document upload, metadata creation to your researchers;
* a review of scholars' vita can reveal past articles in journals that allow self-archiving;
* liaison librarians are a good fit in working at department levels to inform scholars about open access/author rights issues;
* foster administrative and academic champions
able to urge their colleagues' attention
* support revisions to promotion and tenure policies that acknowledge new and open forms of publication;
* don't forget to archive your work -- librarians can lead the way.