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Article Access Alternatives

Open and Sustainable Scholarly Communication Principles

OSU Libraries & Press (OSULP) has defined eight principles that guide the work we do to move toward an open and sustainable scholarly communication environment at OSU and beyond. Some of these principles include:

  • Open Access
  • Preservation and Accessibility
  • Transparency
  • Respect for User Data
  • Sharing and Fair Use

The OSULP Collection Values Framework reinforces the Open and Sustainable Principles. OSULP uses these principles when negotiating contracts with the vendors who provide our database search tools and with the publishers through whom we give you access to journal articles. We also use these principles to make decisions about allocating resources to support open institutional repositories, including our own ScholarsArchive@OSU.

How Do We Decide What to Prioritize in Negotiations?

We use our guiding principles for creating an open and sustainable scholarly communication environment to decide what to subscribe to. Specifically, we work to:

  • Connect our current students, faculty, and staff to the information that supports their learning and research needs
  • Be responsible stewards of our resources by
    • Regularly assessing the use of our collections
    • Seeking creative options for immediate or timely access to our collections
    • Prioritizing universal accessibility so our whole community has opportunities to engage with our collections
  • Choose resources that include options to share and collaborate with partners throughout the region
  • Adapt to a changing scholarly landscape using current methods adopted by many academic libraries including providing dynamic access to content using a combination of purchasing, leasing, linking, and borrowing

Source: Collection Management Principles and Practices

We Can't Subscribe to Everything

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 other resources needed to support teaching, research, and learning.

chart shows oregon state university libraries general collection spending pattern

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. 

Publisher data from SPARC analysis:

table shows revenues per article in the year 2017

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