UA Scholarly Work More Accessible After First Year of Open Access Policy

UA Scholarly Work More Accessible After First Year of Open Access Policy

By Jane Prescott-SmithUniversity Libraries
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David Cuillier, director of the School of Journalism, describes the philosophical imperative for the UA Open Access Policy.
David Cuillier, director of the School of Journalism, describes the philosophical imperative for the UA Open Access Policy.
Arum Park, assistant professor of classics, explains her decision to move her scholarly articles to the UA Campus Repository.
Arum Park, assistant professor of classics, explains her decision to move her scholarly articles to the UA Campus Repository.

UA faculty gathered last week to assess the impact of the UA's Open Access Policy in its first year. The policy, approved by the Faculty Senate last year, aims to expand access to UA scholarly and research outputs by calling on faculty members to submit their final accepted manuscripts to the UA Campus Repository

Arum Park, assistant professor of classics, discussed her decision to move her articles from a for-profit platform to the UA Campus Repository. She said she had become concerned about the platform not only because some journals prohibited sharing manuscripts on it, but also because it was launching strategies to monetize scholarly work. At the same time, she said, she noticed that journal contracts often made exceptions for "institutional repositories" – and so she set out to find the UA's.

"We all want our scholarship to be accessible," Park said. "So I was excited to find out about the UA's Campus Repository. I moved my published articles to the repository and linked to them from my department profile page."

For David Cuillier, director of the School of Journalism, the issue was less about his personal research than about his philosophy of higher education.

"Land-grant universities were created by Congress to create knowledge for the public good," said Cuillier, who served on the original Faculty Senate task force that forged the policy. "The public isn't benefiting from the knowledge if we cloister it in high-end journals."

Cuillier maintains that many journalists are unaware of the University's research and this is an intentional way of making it easily accessible to them so that they can inform their readers, which "is more critical as Americans, particularly in Arizona, become more skeptical of institutions. Scholarly research is imperative for our survival."

Kimberly Chapman, director of campus repository services, provided an update on the implementation of the Open Access Policy. More than 1,100 articles have been added to the repository since June, with more than 7,200 downloads. Faculty can log into the repository with their NetID to add articles, or they can email their contributions to open-access@email.arizona.edu

The Department of Linguistics embraced open access early on, according to Heidi Harley, professor of linguistics, who noted that the editorial board of respected journal Lingua decided to leave the commercial publisher Elsevier to start a new journal, Glossa, working with the nonprofit open-access publisher Ubiquity Press.

Harley also explained how the UA Campus Repository advances the research process because it can aggregate so many types of information – from raw data to analyzed data to preprints – and can accommodate specialized formats like audio files. In her department, the Celtic Research Group has used the repository as a way to share data with collaborators at other universities.

Harley added that the archival qualities of the repository make it a far superior platform for scholarly work than the Google sharing platforms. 

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