New Resource to Support Open Scholarship

The Scholarly Communication Department recently launched a new Open Scholarship website. The site serves as a central hub for researchers interested in open access, open data, and/or open publishing. The site is particularly useful for finding information about how faculty can comply with the recently-approved IUB Open Access Policy. The Open Access Policy will provide a mechanism for faculty to assert their rights as authors, enabling them to share their scholarship more widely and increasing readership and engagement of IU-faculty work.

The launch of our open scholarship site begs the question, “what is open scholarship?” More pointedly, what qualifies as “scholarship” and how “open” does that output need to be? We think that our site presents a definite answer. We believe that the term scholarship should be inclusive of all of the ways that scholars communicate: through journal articles and books but also through sharing their research data, making visible their learning objects and teaching materials, and even creating new and innovative publications to fill a distinct gap in a body of literature. The new site illustrates that we as the Scholarly Communication Department support scholarship in all of its modes and formats, formal and informal.

Similarly, while open is a core value and essential principle of our work, we recognize that there is an entire spectrum of openness. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) recently collaboratively authored a “How Open Is It?” spectrum, which helps illustrate this point.

They break open down to reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, automatic posting, and machine readability. For each, they note the spectrum of open to closed that can exist, which illustrates just how complex and contextual open is. For example, there might be an “open” article that is accessible to readers, but the author wasn’t able to retain all rights to the article and it isn’t in a format that is machine readable. Or, alternatively, an author might retain their copyright and make their work their open but only with strict and limited reuse permissions. The Scholarly Communication Department’s goal is to support all manifestations of openness, regardless of where researchers fall on this spectrum.

Our new website showcases the many services and resources our department offers to facilitate open scholarship. In addition to managing IUScholarWorks and providing faculty a space to make their work open, we provide one-on-one consultations to researchers interested in a variety of topics including advocating for their author rights, evaluating their impact, crafting a data management plan, or starting or making open a journal. We work collaboratively with other library and campus units, including the Indiana University Press, Digital Collections Services, and UITS, to assist researchers with digital scholarship, publishing ventures, and data storage. We look forward to continuing to enhance and develop our suite of services to better support the IU research community.

We’re interested in your feedback! Please send questions and comments about the new Open Scholarship website to iusw@indiana.edu

The Scholarly Communication Department would like to thank the Discovery and User Experience Department, specifically Matt Fitzwater and Courtney McDonald, for their assistance and expertise throughout the development of this site.