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Open and Sustainable Scholarly Communication at OSU

Introducing Sustainable Scholarship as OSU

Introduction

The Open & Sustainable Scholarly Communication Advisory Committee (OSSC) is establishing a formal set of principles that outline the University’s commitment to open education. These principles will guide our negotiations with any publisher or vendor. To that end, we are:

  • Raising awareness on campus for Open at all levels, and the impacts of not supporting Open.
  • Developing a set of reasonable terms and conditions that support our commitment to Open regardless of publisher, vendor, or product.
  • Seeking the support of OSU faculty to use these terms and conditions in negotiating access to scholarly communication.

Background

In spring 2019 OSU Provost Ed Feser asked the University Librarian Faye A. Chadwell and Susan Capalbo, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, to establish a committee to engage the OSU community in discussions regarding sustainable access to scholarly communication.

The committee was established in consultation with the Faculty Senate Library Committee (FSLC) Chair at the end of 2019 and began meetings in early Spring 2020.

The OSSC Library Committee members include:

The OSSC Faculty Advisory Committee members include:

  • Marit Bovbjerg, Assistant Professor, College of Public Health and Human Sciences. FSLC member.
  • Melissa Haendel, Director of Translational Data Science, Linus Pauling Institute. FSLC member.
  • Emily Shroyer, Associate Professor, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Melissa Santala, Assistant Professor, Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Kyle Niemeyer, Associate Professor, Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Brian Sidlauskas, Associate Professor, College of Agricultural Sciences. FSLC member.
  • Nadia Streletskaya, Assistant Professor, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Julie Penry, Ex-officio, Assistant General Counsel

The Problem

Journal and database subscriptions account for an overwhelming majority of the OSU Libraries collections budget. Subscription costs continue to rise at an unsustainable rate, affecting the Libraries’ ability to acquire new resources needed to support teaching, research, and learning.

In addition to these unsustainable subscription costs, since 2015 OSU authors (or their co-authors at other institutions) have paid approximately $1 million to the same publishers so that their research is open access and available to researchers, students, instructors, and practitioners around the world. OSU Libraries could direct this money to other projects, such as expanding the archives, supporting open access initiatives, or purchasing other subscription materials.

Publisher data from SPARC analysis:

Subscription costs as a whole are unsustainable. Moreover, OSU increasingly pays the same publishers twice to subscribe to journals and enable open access for our own research. We need to create a strong, united message that Oregon State University is dedicated to open scholarly communication and expects to only pay once.