VC Announces Funding to Support “Open Access” Authors’ Fees

Support for author fees of up to $750 per article is available upon faculty request from a new fund established by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development.

I personally consider this a major step for the university. I was on the planning committee for the Convocation on Scholarly Communications in a Digital World, & we recently gave our report to the faculty council. As part of that report, we proposed (and the faculty council passed) 2 resolutions:

Resolution 2005-7 on Faculty Ownership of Research

Be it resolved that UNC-CH faculty are the owners of their research and should retain ownership and use open access publication venues whenever possible.

Resolution 2005-8 on Scholarly Communications

Be it resolved that the Faculty Council encourage the Provost to:

  1. create a task force on scholarly communications to continue the work of the Scholarly Communications Convocation and to report back on the issues, problems and an on-going mechanism to propose and implement solutions,
  2. create a task force on establishing an institutional repository to determine the feasibility of such and to outline potential contents, indexing, etc.,
  3. work with department chairs to review tenure and promotion standards to recognize publishing in non-traditional sources, and
  4. require department chairs to discuss the problems in scholarly communications with their faculties.

While Resolution 2005-8 was important, Resolution 2005-7 was for my money the one with the really far-reaching implications. If the university wants faculty to retain ownership of their publications, then the university has to make changes to the tenure & review process that will provide incentives for faculty to actually change their publication habits. Funding to support open access publication fees is a major first step in that direction.

Of course, I can’t actually think of any open access journals in LIS that aren’t free. Anyone know any different?