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Open and Sustainable Scholarly Communication at Oregon State University

Introducing Sustainable Scholarship at OSU

OSSC FAQ

  • Why should I care about open and sustainable scholarship?
    • The current state of academic publishing stymies collaboration and limits access to valuable research across the globe. OSU is dedicated to removing research barriers and promoting the greatest possible impact of research.
  • What does access to research cost us now?
    • Access to research databases and journal subscriptions is a little more than 1/3 of the OSU Libraries budget. Even at this price, the licensing agreements often don't give us ownership of the material. Instead, it's access that ends after we stop paying.
    • From 2015 - 2020, OSU authors published 12,720 articles that were indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection, a multidisciplinary database of scholarly journals. 5,586 of those articles (44%) are available via various forms of open access. Authors paid over $1 million in article processing charges (APCs) to enable open access for 10% of these articles that were published in hybrid journals. Hybrid journals are subscription journals in which some of the articles are open access. These subscription journals charge libraries an amount of up to $41,800/year (Nature journals) in addition to charging authors for open access.
  • Why are journal subscriptions so expensive?
    • There are many answers to this question, but institutional subscriptions are one element. Many journals offer subscriptions to individuals for cheaper than for large institutions with multiple users, such as libraries.
  • What is the library's share of indirect cost recovery?
  • How is Open Access related to Open Educational Resources?
    • Open Access (OA) is an umbrella term that includes efforts such as free scholarly communication, shared resources, and Open Educational Resources. At OSU, the OSSC is currently focused on the scholarly publishing aspect of OA. Ecampus leads our OER programming and provides its services for all faculty.
  • What has OSU done to support OA?
    • The OSU Faculty Senate passed its Open Access Policy in 2013.
    • OSULP digitized all OSU theses & dissertations.
    • Beginning In 2006, all theses and dissertations were required to be deposited in the ScholarsArchive@OSU institutional repository.
    • ScholarsArchive@OSU, regularly ranked among the top ten institutional repositories in the country, was established in 2004 to capture and share OSU's scholarship.
  • Where do we want to go with our support of OA at OSU?
    • That's where you come in. The committee is focusing on gathering information about the aspects of OA that are most important to each department. Success depends on clear interdepartmental communication, so we want to build a strong base. Please see link below!
    • OSU doesn't currently have a standardized budget code for tracking Article Processing Charges so it is difficult to track these expenditures across the university. Let us know if you would or would not support a requirement to use a new code for this purpose (see link below).
    • Please share any information with us on these above items.
  • What have other institutions done to improve the sustainability of scholarship?
    • The University of North Carolina chose not to renew a large package of Elsevier titles, citing the publisher's failure to provide an affordable path. UNC-Chapel Hill has subscribed to "a much smaller set" of individual titles. The Libraries provide access to previously available titles through interlibrary loan and a document delivery service.
    • The University of Washington is part of a "read and publish" agreement with Cambridge University Press. Furthermore, UW Libraries supports several open repositories and provides free and discounted publication fees with several publishers as a result of institutional memberships.
    • The University of California has negotiated several major publishing contracts guided by open access principles, including more affordable subscription costs, agreements with Springer Nature and Elsevier to make author research freely available, a transformative agreement with the Company of Biologists.
    • The Iowa State University Library's Open Scholarship Services team supports the use, creation, and publication of scholarship by ISU authors. The University Library has agreements with many publishers that discount or eliminate APCs for open access materials.
    • The MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts is a declaration of rights and responsibilities for scholarly communication. It guides MIT negotiations with publishers and has been endorsed by numerous institutions.
    • Plan S is an Open Access initiative supported by an European consortium of research funding organizations.
  • Some publishers offer Read & Publish deals. Is that a possibility for OSU?
    • Read & Publish (also called transitional OA) deals allow institutions to pay a lump sum to cover institutional access to journals and open access to the articles published by authors from the institution. This is a new approach that offsets subscription fees for Open Access fees.
  • Does the library have funds to give to OSU authors to support OA publishing?
    • The library does not currently have funds to give to OSU authors to support OA publishing or APCs.