Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

OA publishing fund at U of Calgary

U of Calgary funds Open Access Authors Fund, a press release from the U of Calgary, June 23, 2008.  (Thanks to Jennifer McLennan.)  Excerpt:

University of Calgary professors and graduate students will now have access to a $100,000 Open Access Authors Fund designed to increase the amount of publicly available research.

The new fund, announced today by Thomas Hickerson, Vice-Provost, Libraries and Cultural Resources and University Librarian, is the first of its magnitude in Canada....

The new fund will provide U of C faculty and graduate students with financial support to cover Open Access author fees. Open Access publishing is a rapidly expanding development in the exchange of research information. An increasing number of academic journals make research literature openly available via the internet without the restrictions on authors and without the high costs to users imposed by traditional subscription-based publications.

This new publishing model does, however, often require that authors pay fees contributing to the costs of publication. With the establishment of this new fund, researchers at the University of Calgary will have the freedom to exercise their own choice in publishing decisions....

?The Open Access movement is a significant initiative in bringing our research activity more quickly and broadly to the awareness of the scholarly community and to the public at large,? said Dr. Rose Goldstein, Vice-President, Research. ?The establishment of this fund by Libraries and Cultural Resources is a crucial development for our faculty and graduate students.?

Open Access publishing allows authors to retain copyright control over their work and promotes broad educational use of the latest information.  Open Access is also a key means by which university research can serve the larger community, providing public access to the new findings in everything from cancer treatment to global warming....


  • Kudos to Calgary for joining half a dozen other universities worldwide in launching such a fund.  It's important for universities to join funding agencies in their willingness to support publishing fees at fee-based OA journals (as I once put it) "today as an investment in a superior scholarly communication system, tomorrow from the savings on canceled subscriptions." 
  • On the other hand, any university willing to pay these fees should also be willing to adopt a strong policy encouraging or requiring OA archiving for the research output of the institution.  The two strategies (gold OA and green OA) are compatible and complementary.  But a green OA policy costs less and covers all the peer-reviewed articles published by faculty, regardless of the journals in which they choose to publish.  Calgary has an institutional repository, but as far as I know it doesn't yet have a policy to fill it.