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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Open Access

Learn about Open Access and how to make your scholarship freely available.

Lehigh University Libraries' Statement on Support of Open Access Publishing

The Lehigh University Libraries believe it is part of its mission to contribute toward a sustainable and equitable scholarly communication system that supports Open Access (OA) and public access publishing. This statement outlines the current level of support for OA and public access publishing.

In terms of supporting a sustainable scholarly communication system, the Libraries support OA and public access publishing through a multi-faceted approach that consists, in part, of the following:

  • The Lehigh Preserve for the archiving and dissemination of research output, including articles as allowed by copyright, Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETDs), archival reports, student scholarship, and published data sets.
  • Consultation with librarians on open access journal opportunities and on allowable postings of research articles according to copyright, publisher policies and funder guidelines.
  • Membership in and support of organizations working toward OA and public access publishing, including the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), the arXiv preprint server, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), and others.
  • On a pilot basis and pending additional funding, negotiation with publishers on Open Access agreements (sometimes called Read & Publish or transformative agreements) that combine the subscription cost for journals with the ability of affiliated corresponding authors to publish OA or public access. The criteria for whether to enter into such an agreement are varied and not limited to, but include, the following:
    • Since, historically, costs for journal subscriptions have been unsustainable, the current subscription spend with the publisher must be sustainable before entering into an agreement. I.e. OA or public access publishing will not be used to add value to an unsustainable cost on subscription journals.
    • Since the Libraries are currently not being provided with additional funds, there must either be no additional cost or a very low additional cost.
    • Since some publishers have taken advantage of the OA movement to further profits or unsustainable practices, the publisher must be deemed to be a good partner for the pilot. This includes current and historical business practices, a communicated vision toward OA, the appropriate functionality in place to support an OA deal, and other factors.
    • Other data points considered include: the number of colleges and departments supported, the number of APCs offset vs. the added cost, the added cost as a percentage of the subscription cost, whether both Gold and Hybrid journals are included, the staff time needed to support the program, etc.

In terms of supporting an equitable scholarly communication system, the Libraries will continue to investigate and better understand how current and future systems may imitate or reproduce imbalances in access to, and ability to fully participate in, research. As an example, the Libraries will try to balance support across disciplines. Further, the Libraries will look to contribute toward improvements in OA scholarly publishing, moving away from the reliance on high-cost journals and agreements, payments of APCs, and proprietary systems.

Since OA and public access publishing is a dynamically changing area influenced by publishers, governmental agencies, and research funders, this statement may develop over time. The Lehigh University Libraries will continue to build knowledge in, consult with stakeholders on, and perform data-informed evaluations of new or additional opportunities to support OA and public access funding.