Two Year Anniversary of the Open Access Policy

This post was written by Scholarly Communication department student assistant Allison Nolan.

In February 2017, the Bloomington Faculty Council passed an Open Access policy. The policy provides a mechanism for making faculty-authored articles published after 2017 open access (unless faculty opt out of the policy for a particular article). Beyond making content open access, the policy asks faculty to reflect on how they would like their work to be used in perpetuity. IU Bloomington’s was the 56th faculty council in the world to unanimously pass an open access policy, joining Harvard, Duke, Princeton, Stanford, MIT and others.

In conjunction with the policy, the Scholarly Communication department launched a new institutional repository, IUScholarWorks Open, to accommodate articles made openly available as a result of the policy. IUSW Open acts as a seamless service point for faculty to deposit articles, opt out of the policy, or view their colleagues’ open access work. Over the last two years, the Scholarly Communication department has aligned the IU faculty annual reporting system, where most faculty already enter information about their research and creative activity, with the OA Policy. Department staff processed IUB faculty-authored scholarly articles across all disciplines while also encouraging faculty to submit their work to the repository directly through targeted outreach.

In the two years since the policy was instituted, over 500 items have been deposited to IUSW Open, all by various IU faculty authors and collaborators. SC department staff have been able to share the final versions (sometimes called the version of record) of over 200 articles and link over 150 open access versions of articles from authors across IUB. In addition to checking publisher policies for faculty-authored articles, Scholarly Communication staff consulted with individual faculty to share a version of their article open access.  

In addition to highlighting the quantity of articles made openly available, it’s important to showcase the range of scholarship faculty published and subsequently was made available. These highlights are obviously only a small subset of the articles made openly available but they illustrate that the diversity of topics represented within the repository is evident and mirrors the intellectual diversity of the IUB faculty. For example, Kylie Peppler’s “Advancing Arts Education in a Digital Age” discusses how instructors can utilize digital tools in order to help students become content creators, rather than simply rejecting technology as something that distracts from or changes the nature of content creation. Angela T. Maitner and others’ “The impact of culture and identity on emotional reactions to insults”  explores the ways in which people from different ethnic backgrounds react to insults related to an aspect of their cultural or religious identity, specifically in relationship to cultures that are rooted in concepts of honor and dignity. Kelly M. Moench and Cara L. Wellman examined the manner and speed of dendrite rebuilding in mice, particularly females, after periods of prolonged, chronic stress. The goal of the experiment was to determine the impact of stress on both male and female brains and it was concluded that the long-term effects of continued stress, rather than acute stress, were more likely to lead to detrimental outcomes in women. Each of these articles pose questions that are relevant to advancing their respective fields, and the interdisciplinary nature of IUScholarWorks Open allows all of these research outputs to exist in the same space.

In the last two years, IUB’s open access policy has helped to highlight faculty research and create critical discussions surrounding open access and the opportunities that it provides for academic scholarship. As an example, an Open Access Article Publishing Fund was recently established by the IU Libraries and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research to subsidize the cost of publishing gold open access. IUScholarWorks Open will inevitably grow as time goes on and faculty work continues to be processed. We hope that knowledge of the policy and IUSW Open, and ongoing educational efforts as to what exactly it means to make academic work open access, will increase faculty engagement on this important issue.

IU South Bend Passes Open Access Policy

This blog post was authored by Craig Finlay, Scholarly Communications Librarian at IU South Bend.

We are very pleased to announce that on Friday, January 18, 2019, the Indiana University South Bend Faculty Senate unanimously approved an Open Access policy, making us the third IU campus to do so.  We join IU Bloomington and IUPUI in working to promote OA and in so doing increase the accessibility, reach and impact of our faculty scholarship.

The policy itself can be found here.  While based on the Harvard Policy, our policy differs in that it contains no language requiring faculty to provide copies of their research.  The small size of our campus and the comparatively smaller research output (Compared to large universities like IUB and IUPUI) affords us the luxury of relieving faculty of that requirement.  The Office of Research – Academic Affairs produces an annual publication list gleaned from the faculty annual reports (now Digital Measures). The number of publications makes it feasible for us to grab them ourselves and check for copyright permissibility.  This could be an important point to remember for smaller universities looking to pass an OA policy.  Often faculty objections to a policy stem from resentment over requirements of self-deposit.

Over the past few years I pounded the pavement visiting department meetings and giving presentations aimed at highlighting traffic to publications already placed into our IU ScholarWorks community. I generally did not spend much time talking about the altruistic aspects of OA, having found that this approach is greeted more with polite affirmation than anything else.  More effective is convincing faculty that OA publishing will drive attention and citations to their publications.

This strategy was strongly influenced by a pair of talks by Jere Odell, Scholarly Communication Librarian at IUPUI, at the Michiana Scholarly Communication Librarianship Conference at IU South Bend in 2014 and 2016. Jere was also a continual source of advice and wisdom in my journey, the value of which I cannot overstate.

While it may seem tempting to focus heavily on the potential of OA to reach underserved communities, the fact is self-interest seems to grab people’s attention much more readily. Given limited presentation times at departmental meetings, time is of the essence.  After some time demonstrating usage statistics and talking about the potential citation boost, I started pitching the OA policy itself.

First, I approached faculty allies who had already taken initiative to contact me regarding depositing their scholarship, hoping to get them to help spread the message.  I also sought and received endorsements from the Office of Research, the Library Affairs Committee and the head of the newly-established Center for Excellence in Research and Scholarship (CERES). I repeatedly emphasized the unique aspect of our proposed policy, that it would require no extra work on the part of faculty.  It was the LAC that brought the policy before the senate, which, being from a committee, meant the policy was already seconded when it was announced.

Ultimately, the policy passed unanimously.  Given seven minutes to explain the policy to the senate, I discussed the traffic to existing publications in the IR and the fact that our policy asked nothing of faculty save consent of deposit. I owe a great debt to the colleagues, campus departments and faculty allies who aided in getting our policy passed.  If I had to give one bit of advice to a librarian at a small campus such as IU South Bend trying pass a policy while balancing myriad other job responsibilities it would be to identify and cultivate such sources of support and advice.  There’s no point in trying to do it alone.

Publishing Your Dissertation Open Access

IUScholarWorks is our repository, intended for anyone affiliated with IU to share their research openly so that it’s available for anyone in the world to read. It’s important to remember that this includes graduate students! Graduate students can share papers, data, posters, and even their dissertation in IUScholarWorks.

Sharing a dissertation in IUScholarWorks (sometimes called IUSW) has many benefits for authors, including:

  • increased discoverability of the dissertation, as it will become indexed in Google Scholar
  • long-term preservation, ensuring scholars can access it in several decades and beyond
  • the agency to decide how the dissertation should be licensed. Authors can choose one of several Creative Commons licenses based on how they would like others to use their work (this is optional)
  • the ability to embargo (or limit access) to the dissertation for up to five years
  • a free mechanism for sharing–there is never an additional cost for authors

Sharing Your Dissertation

When a dissertation or thesis has reached its final stage, all graduate students must submit an electronic version of their thesis or dissertation to ProQuest via the Graduate School Website instructions.

ProQuest provides multiple services and options for publishing a dissertation. Traditional publication with ProQuest means that the dissertation will be included in the ProQuest Dissertation and Theses database. This option is free for the author but in order to access the thesis or dissertation, readers will either need to be affiliated with a library or pay a fee. The 25 most-accessed ProQuest theses and dissertations for last month cost around $38 each to download for those not affiliated with a library or organization with access. However, this model does provide authors with other other add-on services, including the ability to print a physical copy and the option of copyright registration for a $55 fee. 

ProQuest offers an additional option: authors can publish their dissertation or thesis open access in their database PQDT Open for an additional fee, shifting the cost from the reader to the author. Making a dissertation open gives anyone, regardless of affiliation or socioeconomic status the ability to access it. There are a few important considerations for authors interested in this option.  ProQuest charges authors a $95 fee for this option, which might be a challenge for some authors. Additionally, while PQDT Open dissertations are free for all to read, it’s unclear if authors can select a Creative Commons License for their work, which enables authors to explicitly tell others how they can use the dissertation or thesis.

The University of Chicago has a useful summary of the difference between traditional ProQuest dissertation publication, PQDT Open publishing, and publishing in a repository (like IUScholarWorks).

Will making my work open access mean I can’t rework it into an article or book?

Some students worry that publishers will not publish a book or article that is based on a dissertation. First and foremost, you should consult with publishers (or published authors/ mentors) in your field if you have ideas about developing your work further and are concerned about this.

It’s important to remember that when a dissertation goes through the publication process, a lot of the information changes in some shape or form. In other words, it’s unlikely that a dissertation can be republished without major edits.  Dee Mortensen, Senior Sponsoring Editor at the IU Press, compares the relationship between a dissertation and a book to that of a chrysalis and a butterfly.

Because of the substantial alteration involved in the transformation of book to dissertation, it is often not an issue to make the original dissertation available. The study “Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities?” supports this claim, finding that most publishers (93% of university presses) do not consider a dissertation a prior publication that would disqualify the revised version from publication.

If you’re still concerned, remember that you can embargo your dissertation for up to five years in IUScholarWorks. An embargo would mean that readers can find information (sometimes called metadata) about your dissertation on the web but they would not be able to read the full-text of the work until a specified date.

IUSW staff are happy to discuss this option with you in more detail if you’re interested. Staff can also consult with authors about Creative Commons licensing and selecting the best license based on your goals for your work.

You can submit your thesis or dissertation  to IUSW here. A staff member will deposit it and respond to you with the link–it’s that simple!

You can also view all of this information in detail in a handy slide deck by our very own Sarah Hare (PDF link). If you are an advisor or faculty member and would like us to come to your class or event to talk to your students about dissertations, please e-mail us at iusw@indiana.edu. 

Two New Graduate Students Join the Scholarly Communication Department

The Scholarly Communication Department is happy to introduce our two newest team members, Daphne Scott and Margaret McLaughlin. Daphne and Margaret are both master’s students in the Information and Library Science (ILS) Program in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.

Daphne Scott photo

Daphne Scott recently graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and is now pursuing a Masters in Library Science with a concentration in data science. As the current graduate assistant for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, she is working to create a digital archive dedicated to the history of the SoTL program at IUB.  Her current research interest focuses on the recreational reading habits of traditional undergraduate students.

MargaretMcLaughlin photo

Margaret received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Classics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016. After two years in Northwestern University’s Art History PhD program, Margaret decided to instead pursue a Masters in Library Science in order to focus on her interests in digital humanities, information literacy, and open pedagogy. She has instruction experience at the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Indiana University Bloomington, where she is currently an Associate Instructor for the department of Comparative Literature. Margaret also works as a Research Assistant in the Learning Commons and is pursuing her dual masters in Comparative Literature.

We are excited to see Daphne and Margaret bring their unique perspectives and expertise to our department. Please join us in welcoming them to our team!