NIU Libraries launches Open Access Fund

Patrick Dawson

Patrick Dawson

NIU Libraries has launched a pilot Open Access Fund that will provide small grants to faculty and graduate students to help defray the upfront costs associated with open access publishing.

Grappling with the costs for expensive journal subscriptions, a number of universities nationwide, including Harvard and MIT, are promoting open access publishing. It provides unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed journal articles, thus broadening access to scholarly research.

The NIU Open Access Fund seeks to advance the use of open access as a means of distributing the research and creative work of the Northern Illinois University community.

University Libraries Dean Patrick Dawson says open access will expose the scholarly and artistic work of the NIU community to a much larger audience.

“In the current mode of scholarly communication, authors of scholarly works have to abrogate their copyright and distribution rights to their own work to have it appear in a publication that restricts access to the same work to only those who pay the subscription price for access,” Dawson says. “Open access wants to expose scholarly work to the widest possible audience, an audience not limited by commercial publishers’ restrictions.”

Open Access Week logoOpen Access Fund grants are available for research published in open access journals, which do not charge a fee for institutions, libraries or readers for content access and do not have an embargo period for access. Grants also are available for hybrid journals, which are subscription journals that allow authors to make their articles open access upon payment of fees.

Fees that will be covered by grants include those usually associated with hybrid publications. More information on the NIU pilot program grants and maximum support limits is available on the Open Access Fund website.

NIU Libraries’ commitment to support open access also includes management of the NIU institutional repository, Huskie Commons. Acceptance of open access grants requires submission of the supported article to NIU Huskie Commons within three months of publication.

Questions about the Open Access Fund or Huskie Commons, including details about the submission process, can be emailed to Drew VandeCreek at drew@niu.edu.

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