Scholarly Communications

UNC Faculty Council Adopts Open Access Policy

OpenAccessSymbolThanks to a unanimous vote at the April 24 meeting of its Faculty Council, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has joined the community of leading universities that endorse open access.

Open access refers to making scholarly publications available online and without charge for users to read, download, print, or use for other legitimate educational and research purposes.

Resolution 2015-9: On Endorsing a University Open Access Policy represented more than a year of work by a 35-member faculty Open Access Task Force. Chairs Todd Vision and Julie Kimbrough told the University Gazette that they worked diligently to craft a policy recommendation that could be applied differently according to the needs of various disciplines.

The policy benefits faculty by enabling their work to reach an expanded readership, including health care workers, journalists, policy makers, K-12 students and teachers, researchers in the private sector, and scholars in the developing world. It is also a boon to research libraries, which continue to struggle with decades of extraordinary inflation in serials prices, even as university budgets shrink.

UNC faculty who do not already have access to a disciplinary open access repository would be able to preserve and distribute their work through the Carolina Digital Repository (CDR), which the UNC Library operates.

Library staff members Christie Degener, Anne Gilliland, Carol Hunter, Julie Kimbrough, and Tim Shearer participated as members of the task force. The Library and its Scholarly Communications Office will continue consulting with University staff and faculty to implement the policy.

“We are looking forward to working with professors to add their scholarly papers to the CDR,” University Librarian Sarah Michalak said. “Achieving a campus-wide open access policy is a difficult task and we feel inspired to have been a part of this successful effort.”

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