|UC Santa Cruz Open Access Fund Pilot Print Page|
Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance.
Most discussion about OA focuses on articles, but there is an increasing movement toward OA in monographs, data, and other formats as well.
Beginning in fall of 2012, University of California campuses are launching pilot open access funds. The UCSC Open Access Fund will pay open access publishing charges for journal articles by university authors who do not have grant funds available to cover them. Eligible charges include Article Processing Charges (APCs) for both fully open access journals, and article fees for hybrid journals (where an author pays to make a single article open access within a journal that charges subscription fees). See the tab on "Eligibility and Guidelines" for more information.
The California Digital Library (CDL) and UC campuses are providing the funds in order to support UC researchers interested in reshaping models of scholarly publishing. Campuses will track how the funds are spent, and the success and sustainability of the pilot will be evaluated. The chief goals of the program include fostering greater dissemination of the work of University of California scholars and encouraging faculty control of copyright. This is part of the larger effort within UC to change what has become an unsustainable scholarly communication system.
Authors can apply for funds using the online application form available on the "Application Form" tab.
Q: When does the pilot begin and end?
The pilot will begin fall quarter 2012 and be evaluated after 12-18 months.
Q: Is this related to the draft faculty-proposed Open Access Policy for the University of California?
No, it's unrelated. This pilot will pay the costs of publishing new research in open access journals, and involves funds provided by CDL and UC Campuses, administered by campus libraries. The proposed Open Access Policy is focused on open access archiving regardless of place of publication, and is under discussion by faculty senates. Read more about the proposed Open Access Policy here.
Q: Where is the money from the fund coming from?
This effort is partially funded with money from CDL, and the rest is from funds donated to the University Librarian's discretionary fund. We chose to move forward with this pilot in order to get experience with an alternative funding model, and we expect that it will give us valuable information about the costs faculty may incur and need support for if more journals move to an Article Processing Charge financial model.
Q: How much do Open Access charges cost?
It varies dramatically depending on the journal and the publisher. Many do not charge authors fees (e.g. Open Humanities Press journals); some charge hundreds of dollars (e.g. SAGE Open is $695), some charge thousands (Wiley journals are $3000). For more examples, see this list at the Berkeley Libraries website.
1. More readers. Traditional publishing models make money by charging those who can afford to pay for access. Colleagues at institutions that have cancelled their subscription to the journal you're publishing in (or who couldn't afford it in the first place) will have a much harder time finding and reading your work. As library budgets around the world continue to shrink, fewer and fewer people will have access to articles that are only available to subscribers. Open access articles get read more.
2. Public good. Open access literature can be read not only by scholars at non-subscribing institutions, but by medical practioners, high school students, employees of private industry, taxpayers who may have helped fund it - anyone with an internet connection. Open access work has greater potential to further knowledge and innovation around the world.
3. Shifting business models in the scholarly publishing industry. Scholars write and review articles for journals; journal publishers do not pay them for this work, but they do charge the scholars' institutions subscriptions - sometimes extremely expensive ones. For-profit publishers are still reporting operating profit margins between 30 and 45%, while campus budgets shrink. Meanwhile, nonprofit publishers are demonstrating great value, online publishing presents new technological possibilities, and authors are starting to pay more attention to the power they hold in the system. This is a time of rapid and unpredictable change in scholarly publishing. Open access is only one piece of the puzzle of a more efficient system, but it's an important one.