Library to Debut Open Access Pilot with SAGE Publishing

October 22, 2019

The University Libraries and SAGE Publishing will enter into a pilot agreement enabling researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to publish open access articles in SAGE journals at no cost to the researcher.

Under the agreement, part of the subscription fees that the Library will pay for SAGE content beginning in 2020 will cover the costs of open access publishing for a number of UNC-Chapel Hill authors in SAGE publications. This comes at no additional cost to the Library and will preserve access to all content that the Library currently licenses from SAGE.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for Carolina researchers to publish open access,” said Elaine L. Westbrooks, vice provost for University Libraries and University librarian. “This is also part of our strategy to forge new channels that will make published research as open and accessible as possible.”

SPARC, a coalition that promotes open access publishing, defines open access as “the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.” Such uses include reading, downloading, linking, searching, printing and citing.

Articles covered by this agreement will be fully open and will also undergo the same peer review and editing process as other scholarly articles from SAGE.

“Researchers write to be read,” said Westbrooks. “At Carolina, we have scholars doing amazing work that can change the world and better the human condition. When they publish open access, they reach the broadest possible audience and have the greatest impact.”

Westbrooks said she is especially interested in supporting junior faculty members and graduate students — the emerging researchers for whom open access charges are often out of reach.

The pilot agreement will also allow Carolina-affiliated SAGE authors to deposit copies of their articles in the Carolina Digital Repository. The repository is an open access home that the Library operates to preserve and share work produced at the University.

“For a public university committed to advancing knowledge and bettering the human condition, promoting open access is core to our values” said Westbrooks. “Making more work open is the right thing to do.”

On October 11, Elaine Westbrooks spoke with The Well at UNC-Chapel Hill about the University Libraries’ commitment to making scholarly publishing more affordable, sustainable, open and transparent.

The University Libraries will hold town hall meetings on October 31, November 6 and November 12 so that members of the University community can learn more about the urgent need to reform scholarly publishing.

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