Leveraging the License: Part II

From 2015 to 2017, I served as co-chair of the Bloomington Faculty Council (BFC) Library Committee. The committee worked for two years to pass, by a unanimous vote of the BFC, the IU Bloomington Open Access Policy.

During my time as co-chair, I spoke with dozens of faculty members, including department chairs and administrators, about the policy. In addition to touting the benefits of Open Access, such as more exposure and potential impact for the scholarship of faculty authors achieved by means of free access and long-term preservation, I routinely described the Open Access as ‘symbolic’ and ‘heuristic’.

By symbolic, I wanted to suggest that adoption of the policy would add the moral authority of another large public research university, such as Indiana University – Bloomington, to the list of U.S. colleges and universities who have adopted such policies.

By heuristic, I meant to express my view that the policy would – and now does – provide an impetus for faculty to think about how they might like to be able to reuse their work in other ways that could be professionally beneficial to them, besides simply transferring their copyright to a journal publisher in return for publication of their scholarly articles. Such uses could include freely distributing their publications through their own professional website, via social media, by means of an institutional or discipline-specific Open Access repository, or simply making them available to students in their classes. The IUB Open Access Policy fosters this goal by providing an institutional mechanism for retaining at least some of a faculty member’s copyrights in their scholarly work.

The policy is not a mandate. Faculty are not required to make their work Open Access. Under the policy, each IUB faculty member grants for themselves, at their discretion, the non-exclusive license articulated by the policy, which permits the university to make their scholarly “articles freely and widely available in an open access repository, provided that the articles are not sold, and appropriate attribution is given to authors.” Because authors can only license their work to the university in keeping with the Open Access policy if they retain enough of their rights to do so, the prior license granted in the policy provides leverage for a faculty member to use when negotiating publishing agreements with journal publishers. This is why Open Access policies, like IUB’s, which are modeled on Harvard University’s policy, are also often referred to as rights-retention policies.

While many publishers now have self-archiving policies that are consistent with the requirements of institutional and government-mandated Open Access polices (see http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/index.php), it might still be necessary to negotiate with publishers to achieve those ends. If you choose to negotiate your copyright with your publisher, the following suggested statement can be used to begin the discussion:

“Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript, upon acceptance for Journal publication or thereafter, for compliance with the Indiana University Open Access Policy and for public archiving in IUScholarWorks as soon as possible after publication by Journal.”

This language can be added to amend a journal publishing agreement. Alternatively, IU provides a suitable form of addendum used in copyright negotiations at Big 10 Academic Alliance (formerly CIC) institutions. SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, also offers an author addendum with supporting documentation. Whether you use one of these addenda or not, the license to IUB will have force, unless you complete the opt out process. For information about opting out or obtaining a waiver letter, visit https://openscholarship.indiana.edu/.

A faculty author could have legitimate reasons to elect to opt out of the Open Access policy. One of the most prevalent reasons is the inclusion of third-party intellectual property quoted or included in a scholarly article under license from a copyright owner. Some common examples include an image or a musical excerpt. Licensing such content can be prohibitively expensive if the article is to be published in an Open Access repository. And while it is possible to deposit a faculty author’s final edited version of a scholarly article without any third-party content that exceeds fair use or is covered by a licensing agreement, an author might legitimately be concerned that the value of their article would be undermined by doing so. If an author cannot secure a license to make third-party intellectual property included in their work available with their article in an Open Access repository, they should opt out of the policy when reporting their work in their annual review on DMAI.

For help with author addenda or other intellectual property issues related to the IUB Open Access policy, please refer to the policy FAQ, or email nazapant@indiana.edu.

 

Open Access policy adopted by IU Bloomington faculty

The Bloomington Faculty Council unanimously approved an Open Access policy today that ensures that faculty scholarship will be accessible and available to the public for future generations. Open Access means that scholarly articles are regarded as the fruits of research that authors give to the world for the sake of inquiry and knowledge without expectation of payment. Adopting such a policy reduces barriers to research and learning by making research available on the public internet to be downloaded and shared freely, making it possible for scholarship to be more widely read and cited than literature that appears in closed-access, licensed journal databases. The policy can be found at IUB’s VPFAA site and an FAQ has been posted to our website.

The Scholarly Communication staff will be available to help authors deposit their work — usually the final version of an article that has gone through peer review — in IUScholarWorks or another repository for archival purposes. Indeed, as Nazareth Pantaloni, Copyright Librarian for the IU LIbraries, observed: “The Indiana University Libraries are delighted that the Bloomington Faculty Council has joined the over 300 U.S. colleges and universities who have decided to make their faculty’s scholarship more freely available under an Open Access policy. We look forward to working with them to accomplish that goal.” Faculty members may also contact us to opt-out of the policy, a process that will be incorporated into a one-click form once the policy is fully implemented.

The policy adopted today is only the latest step in an ongoing process at IU Bloomington. The BFC adopted one of the first Open Access policies in the country in March of 2004. That policy was actually a resolution in which the BFC decried the rising costs of academic journals and databases — at the time, 70% of a $9.2 million annual budget — and called on the IU Libraries to adopt several strategies in response, including, among other things, “to promote open scholarly communication.” That resolution served as an impetus for the Libraries’ development of IUScholarWorks. Today, IU ScholarWorks hosts nearly 30 Open Access journals, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, and serves as the repository for nearly 8,000 items deposited by IU Bloomington faculty, students, and staff, including data sets, conference proceedings, out-of-print books recovered by faculty from their original publishers, doctoral dissertations from the Jacobs School of Music, Patten Lectures, and a wide array of journal articles, research reports, other scholarly literature, and even creative works of authorship. Current developments include improvements in the repository’s ability to host multimedia content and data.

Open Access policies are intended, in part, to provide an institutional mechanism for faculty authors to assert the retention of at least the minimum rights necessary in order not only to cooperate with their institutional OA policy, but also be able to reuse their work in other ways that could be beneficial to them, such as distributing their work via their own professional website, through social media, or simply to students in their classes.

Resources are available for faculty who are interested in learning more about the impact and implementation of the policy. Please direct questions to iusw@indiana.edu.

Image: CC-BY. Flickr user Open Access Button