Faculty Senate reviews new Open Access Policy

Debby Hernandez, Administration Editor

Faculty Senate members approved a draft of the new Open Access Policy for Eastern, which makes scholarly publications within the university publically available, Tuesday.

The Illinois General Assembly passed the Open Access to Research Articles Act in August 2013, requiring all Illinois universities to create a task force in charge of making an open access policy for all university scholarly publications, according to the Commons Knowledge website.

An Open Access Policy committee with ten members has been created as the established task force in charge of creating the new open access policy.

Members have reviewed current university practices on open access to research articles, and have established a draft of the new policy in order to satisfy the act and university policy.

Committee member Todd Bruns said Eastern is part of the depository platform known as the Digital Commons network, a collection of 358 other institutions around the world using the same platform.

Faculty may give Eastern a “nonexclusive, worldwide license” to make their works “widely and freely” available in the University’s open access repository known as The Keep, as stated in the Open Access Policy draft.

Bruns said the concept of “nonexclusive content” means authors give permission to the university to make their works public but have the freedom to do whatever they want with it.

He said if a faculty wants to publish somewhere were the policy is strict, there are still possibilities for their work to be published in the university repository.

“Most publishers will allow version of what you do to be posted in the repository,” Bruns said.

In addition, faculty members must provide an electronic copy of their work for the Keep within three months of its date of publication.

Under the Open Access Act, the university preserves scholars’ right to not have their publication made public while still providing public access by allowing them to request a waiver known as “opt out,” according to the Commons Knowledge website.

The opt-out waiver applies as long as the author or co-author of an article is a faculty member, as according to the policy draft.

The draft also states the opt-out will either “waiver the license for or delay access to the professor’s work.”

Bruns said any works published prior to the new policy do not have to be publically published.

He said while many faculty members do not use Eastern’s repository, the Keep, many have already started publishing.

“Currently, we have 122 faculty participating in our repository,” Bruns said. “With this policy, we want to move forward in a way faculty are empowered to be more engaged.”

Senate member Jeannie Ludlow said using the Keep has brought good results.

“Just last month 17 people read articles I wrote in the Keep,” Ludlow said. “I am pretty sure when they first came out in the journals 17 people didn’t see them.”

The next faculty Senate meeting will be at 2 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Booth Library Conference Room 4440.


Debby Hernandez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].