October 25, 2016 -- Austin, Texas. The University of Texas Libraries has taken the first step to institute an open access policy for staff at The University of Texas at Austin.
A modest plan to induce Libraries staff to deposit articles and conference papers into Texas ScholarWorks, the university's digital repository, was recently approved by Provost Maurie McInnis.
The policy applies only to UT Libraries staff, and is non-exclusive meaning that staff are free to continue submitting work to outside publishing organizations in tandem with submissions to the local repository. It is immediately effective and does not apply to previously published or authored materials.
Open access is an international movement that has the goal of making all peer-reviewed published scholarship available free of charge to the public and to the global scholarly community, and involves the promotion and adoption of open access (scholarly publications and collections), open data (research data) and open educational resources (open textbooks).
Before coming to the university in 2014, Libraries Director and Vice Provost Lorraine Haricombe was instrumental in implementing a faculty-led open access policy at Kansas University — the first public institution in the U.S. with such a policy. Haricombe brings her advocacy for the expansion of OA to her position at the UT Libraries.
"Adoption of open access policies at the Libraries has been a priority since the first day I stepped foot on the Forty Acres," explains Haricombe.
"The UT Libraries is committed to the open agenda and to making the results of scholarly inquiry more accessible and available to those who want them," says Haricombe. "The implementation of a policy to guide our staff is a first signal of intent to broaden the scope of an open agenda for the Libraries, and hopefully, the university."