Transforming the Scholarly Publishing Landscape

In late 2007, President Bush signed into law an omnibus appropriations bill, whereby the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will require all investigators who receive NIH funding to make digital copies of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts publicly available in the National Library of Medicine’s digital repository, PubMed Central. This law betokens the emergence of Open Access (OA) publishing as a viable alternative for the dissemination of scholarly information.

Z. Smith Reynolds Library has established a fund of $5,000 to provide assistance to Reynolda Campus faculty in paying the publication fees charged by open access journals. Under a new cost-sharing arrangement, the Office of Research, the home department, and the library will each pay one third of the costs. In addition, the three WFU Libraries have launched a University-wide Scholarly Communications Committee. This committee of faculty and librarians will help raise campus awareness of various publishing methods and opportunities.

Open access literature has been defined as “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions”. Open Access advocates maintain that the results of research funded by taxpayers should be made available to the public. Like other scholarly journals, open access journals conduct the peer-review process. Open access can be delivered by two routes:

  • Gold OA: Authors pay a fee to publish their articles in an OA journal, and the publisher subsequently makes the article freely available to readers. (e.g., BioMed Central and Public Library of Science).
  • Green OA: Authors publish their articles in a non-OA journal, but they also self-archive them in an OA archive (e.g., PubMed Central, arXiv, institutional repositories).

If you have questions about the new fund, please use our online form.

For more information, please visit: Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) Resources for Authors, Directory of Open Access Journals.