Background and Resources

Scholarly Communications Office

Background and Resources

The rise of digital publication has ushered in an unprecedented era of collaboration, sharing, and availability of research. Indeed it has even made possible new ways of conducting research, the potentials of which are not yet fully realized.

In the digital age, we can reduce the costs of sharing our ideas by eliminating the materials, printing, and dissemination costs associated with physical journals. However, the prices of many journal subscriptions continue to increase dramatically. Often times, at several times the rate of inflation.

This situation creates a barrier between your published works and researchers – both stateside and overseas -- that may not have access to pricy journal subscriptions. This barrier not only effectively limits the audience for your scholarly works, but it impedes the developing culture of research which rewards collaboration and utilizes research methods dependent on open access to previous research via the internet.

When you publish your work with a traditional publisher, read the publication agreement. Does the publisher require you to transfer your exclusive rights under copyright to them? If so, you may not be legally permitted to share your work with colleagues or students, or post it to your personal website or an institutional repository such as USU’s Digital Commons. Adopting an institutional Open Access Policy, such as USU’s Policy 586, can be an effective response to this situation.

In 2008, Harvard University became the first US institution to pass an Open Access Policy, similar to our Policy 586. This policy joined many European Institutions in requiring faculty to deposit their works in an open institutional repository, and in sharing a nonexclusive copyright to their works with the University. Harvard’s policy was adopted to promote free and open communication and ideas, to resist a publishing industry that erects barriers between scholars and the research they need, and to share the intellectual wealth of the institution with the world.

As the land grant institution of the state of Utah, and as a major research university, USU supports these goals. As such, we have joined a growing body of US institutions, and become a leader among public institutions, in adopting an Open Access Policy. This policy has been designed to interfere as little as possible with your existing publication, while maximizing the impact of your research through Open Access dissemination. Please see the procedures page for more information, or follow the links below for additional background information.

Additional Resources:

Information on the SPARC Author's Rights Addendum

Home of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

USU's Open Access Week website

USU's Scholarly Communication Website

Information on the Budapest Open Access Initiative

Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities