Welcome to the University of Utah Open Research Policy Information Page: What are Others Doing?

This guide provides a basic overview of open research and covers the practicalities of having an open research policy at the University of Utah

National Push for Open Access

Based on the notion that scientific knowledge belongs to all, there exists a growing movement among universities and research institutions to make scholarly research available free to the public online.

The international push comes in direct response to the perfect storm of ever-increasing costs of scholarly journals, continually declining library journal budgets, and the rise of digital, networked information technology. 

On a purely practical level, it would cost approximately $62 million to purchase the world’s 67,674 scholarly journals. The University of Utah’s Marriott Library annual journal expenditure averages $5.7 million.

Providing public access helps bridge the gap between limited dollars and scholarly output and changes the default from having publishing houses manage university intellectual property to the institution managing and maintaining it.

arXiv: a disciplinary response to open access

arXiv is an e-print service in the fields of physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics. Submissions to arXiv must conform to Cornell University academic standards. arXiv is owned and operated by Cornell University, a private not-for-profit educational institution.

National Science Foundation

Under the America COMPETES Act, NSF now requires a brief summary report specficially for the public prepared by the PI. Different from an annual report, the Project Outcomes Report (POR) must be submitted to Research.gov

Also, separate, but related, NSF announced its new requirement for principal investigators to include a 2-page data management plan addressing the access to and preservation of research data associated with a grant.

NIH Public Access Policy

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds (over $100,000) to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.  To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

The Policy applies to any manuscript that:

  • Is peer-reviewed;
  • And, is accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008;
  • And, arises from:
    • Any direct funding1 from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 or beyond, or;
    • Any direct funding from an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008, or;
    • Any direct funding from the NIH Intramural Program, or;
    • An NIH employee
If you need more information on the NIH Public Access Policy especially in terms of PMCIDs, see the following page from the U's Grant Writers Network (Unite login required) https://www.unite.utah.edu/gm/folder-1.11.93029

America COMPETES Reauthorization Act

Signed into law on January 4, 2011, the reauthorization "[e]stablishes a working group under National Science and Technology Council to coordinate federal science agency research and policies related to the dissemination and long-term stewardship of the results of unclassified research supported by funding from federal science agencies having an annual extramural research expenditure of over $100 million. Requires such working group to:

(1) identify the specific objectives and public interests that need to be addressed by any policies coordinated under this section; and

(2) consider the role of scientific publishers in the review process.

Open Access & the World

OpenDOAR Chart: Proportion of Repositories by Continent - Worldwide

Local White Paper on Open Access Scholarship

Open access (OA) scholarship is digital, online, free of charge to readers, and free of most re-use and licensing restrictions. It is a dissemination strategy that promotes rather than restricts access.  There are sometimes author fees involved in publishing in open access journals.

Harvard's Experience

So far, five schools at Harvard University have adopted open access policies for scholarly publishing. In this conversation, Sue Kriegsman, Program Manager for the Office for Scholarly Communication at Harvard University Library, talks about the growing trend towards open access and how faculty and administration are dealing with these policies.

Do other institutions have similar policies?

Over 100 institutions worldwide have a policy related to facilitating open access to their scholarly output http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/policysignup/

In addition, U.S. federal legislation has led to the National Institutes of Health adopting a public access policy as well as the twice-introduced Federal Research Public Access Act. You can see a recent congressional hearing on the matter in the "More Resources" tab.

Peer institutions that have a policy in some part of their organization include:

University of California, Irvine

University of California, San Diego

A sample of other institutions (in alphabetical order):

Brigham Young University (2 colleges)

Case Western Reserve University

Cornell University

California Polytechnic State University

Harvard University (6 colleges; medical school policy under discussion)

University of Hawaii-Manoa

University of Kansas

Kansas State University

Massachussetts Institute of Technology

University of Northern Colorado (1 college)

University of Oregon (2 colleges)

Oregon State University (2 colleges)

Stanford University (1 college)

University of Virginia

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library