UNT to launch open access debate

by Mellina Stucky

University of North Texas College of Information will become the first public university in the state to begin a focused discussion on an open access policy for faculty’s scholarly articles when it hosts its Open Access Symposium at 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 18 at the Gateway Center. The symposium is intended to move UNT and other academic institutions in Texas forward in consideration of institutional open access policies which make faculty members’ scholarly articles available to the public for free. During the symposium, faculty members and administrators will be presented with the benefits, opportunities, and implications of adopting the policies.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the College of Information and UNT Libraries, the symposium may be the catalyst to position UNT as a state leader in open access, says Martin Halbert, dean of the UNT Libraries.

Before becoming the dean last fall, Halbert was director of digital innovations for the libraries at Emory University in Atlanta, where the Faculty Council approved a motion last year to allow the Library Policy Committee and Center for Faculty Development and Excellence to embark on a series of open access conversations with faculty groups before developing an open access/rights retention policy for the university.

Scholarly journal publishers are increasingly allowing authors to place copies of their peer-reviewed publications in the institutions’ digital repositories on the World Wide Web. The universities’ repositories are usually maintained by their library staffs.

“A UNT plan toward open access to materials created by faculty will depend on how progressive our faculty wishes to be in promoting their research,” Halbert says. “Campus repositories are not intended to replace publishers of scholarly journals, but they do offer many advantages for digital dissemination and preservation of published research. By implementing an open access policy at UNT, our researchers will have a greater impact by reaching a much broader audience.”

Past research has shown that scholarly articles that are the easiest to find on the Internet tend to be the most frequently cited by other scholars and journalists, he says.

William Moen, an associate professor in the College of Information and co-organizer of the Open Access Symposium, says electronic access to a scholarly article doesn’t threaten the article’s copyright. The copyright protects intellectual property even if access is given openly on the Web, he says.

“Many scholarly association publishers already allow authors to self archive versions of their articles in an institution’s repository, but faculty members may be violating publishers’ copyright policies when they place their articles on their personal web sites,” Moen says. “A faculty member can still put the name of the article on his or her web site and the link to the institutional repository.”

More information about the symposium and its speakers and open access can be found at http://openaccess.unt.edu, or contact Moen at 940-565-2473 or William.moen@unt.edu.

Office of External Affairs and Alumni Relations
University of North Texas College of Information
1155 Union Circle #311068
Denton, TX 76203-5017


0 Responses to “UNT to launch open access debate”

  1. No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.