Open Access Week 2012 Events

October 2012 marks Bucknell’s first anniversary as an open access institution. In celebration of this milestone, L&IT will host several events during International Open Access Week, Oct. 22-26.

SPARC/World Bank Open Access Week 2012 Kickoff Simulcast

Oct. 22, 4-5:30 pm, Bertrand Library Traditional Reading Room

Join distinguished scholars from the World Bank, National Institute of Health, Creative Commons and the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students for a discussion of the importance of open access to their work. Light refreshments will be provided.

My Article’s been Accepted, Now What?

Oct. 23, 12-1 pm, Library Lab

Join Andrew Asher, Bucknell’s Scholarly Communication Officer, for a workshop and discussion about what faculty members need to know about Bucknell’s open access policy, author’s agreements, and scholarly publishing. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to

Open Access Anniversary Party

Oct. 25, 3-4 pm, Bertrand Library Lobby

Come celebrate Bucknell’s first year of open access with cake, refreshments, and a showcase of open access scholarship!

Click here for more information about Open Access at Bucknell.

Bucknell Faculty Approves Open Access Policy

On October 4, 2011, the faculty of Bucknell University approved an institutional policy on open access publishing.

The policy reads as follows:

The faculty of Bucknell University grant to Bucknell University limited use of their scholarly articles for the purpose of making these articles open access. Specifically, each faculty member grants Bucknell University a nonexclusive, paid-up, worldwide license for each of his or her scholarly articles for the purpose of making these articles openly accessible in an institutional repository, and grants Bucknell University permission to exercise all rights under copyright for this purpose, as well as to authorize other parties to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for income or profit. A scholarly article is defined as a peer-reviewed scholarly work published in a journal or in another format that a faculty member determines to be appropriate for his or her particular discipline.

The policy applies to all scholarly articles authored or co-authored while the author is a faculty member of Bucknell University except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy.

The license granted to Bucknell University by this policy will in no way interfere with the rights of a faculty member as the author of the work. Furthermore, the license granted to Bucknell University for an article will be automatically waived for any reason and without sanction at the sole discretion of the faculty member upon written/electronic notification to Bucknell University’s scholarly communications officer.

To assist in the open distribution of the scholarly articles, faculty members are requested to provide bibliographic information and an electronic copy of each article to the scholarly communications officer, who will be designated by the Vice President for Library and Information Technology. In order to ensure that articles are available in a timely manner, it is recommended that faculty members provide articles within 30 days after the date of publication.

The Dean’s offices of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering and the Committee for Library and Information Resources will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its application, and recommending changes as necessary.

While this policy does not apply to other types of faculty publications other than peer-reviewed articles (e.g. monographs, book contributions, conference papers, etc.), faculty members are encouraged to provide the bibliographic information for these publications to the scholarly communications officer for inclusion in the Bucknell University institutional repository.

For more information, please contact Andrew Asher, Scholarly Communications Fellow, at

Bucknell Scholarly Communications Practices Survey: Summary Results


The Bucknell Scholarly Communications Practices Survey was administered during a 24 day period from Oct. 12, 2010 to Nov. 5, 2010.  All Bucknell faculty members were invited to participate via the Bucknell message center.  115 completed questionnaires were submitted giving the survey a 33% response rate.

Faculty members were from the following academic divisions:

Natural Sciences and Mathematics:  36

Humanities:  28

Social Sciences:  26

Engineering:  11

Management:  7

No Response:  7

All faculty ranks were represented, with the following distribution:

Professor: 21.2%

Associate Professor: 38.1%

Assistant Professor: 32.7%

Visiting Assistant Professor or other non-tenure track position: 8.0%

Overall, Bucknell faculty members indicated that they think some changes need to be made in the scholarly communications system.  When asked, “In general, how would you rate the health of scholarly communications in your discipline?” 64.3% answered either “minor” or “substantial” changes need to be made. 

Current Publishing Practices

Survey respondents were asked to report information about their last two journal publications.  Of the 183 responses, 21 (11%) were published in open access journals and 115 (63%) were published in non-open access journals (respondents weren’t sure of the journal’s status for 47 articles (26%)).  36 (20%) of these articles were self-archived either in a disciplinary or institutional repository or on a personal website.  Previous research suggests that current publisher policies would allow 50-60% of Bucknell-authored articles to be self-archived with no additional negotiation.

47 articles (27%) were published in journals that the library does not subscribe to.  Of these, 35 were neither self-archived nor published open access, meaning that Bucknell faculty and students do not have access to 19% of the articles reported in this survey.  An increased emphasis on making open access as many Bucknell publications as possible would help alleviate this problem.  To this end, 80.2% of faculty members indicated they were at least “somewhat” interested in open access issues and policies, although they also answered that their knowledge level was relatively low.  57.1% of respondents rated themselves as “not very knowledgeable” or “not knowledgeable at all” in open access issues, suggesting that there is a need for additional educational programs.

Choice of Publishing Venue

When choosing a venue in which publish their work, 73.7% of Bucknell faculty members indicated that a journal or book publisher’s reputation was the single most important factor (the second most frequent response was the journal’s impact factor at 9.1% of respondents).  When asked how important specific factors were to their choice of publishing venue, faculty members indicated that a journal’s impact factor, the publication venue’s weight in tenure and promotion considerations, and the speed publication were also important to their choice of a publication venue.

Although about half (52.4%) of Bucknell faculty members rated a publication venue’s open access policy as either somewhat or very important in their publishing decisions, a publication’s approach to copyright and self-archiving practices were not viewed as particularly important. The ability to retain the copyright of an article was rated as “not important” by 62.8% or respondents, while the ability to place the published version of a work on a website was rated “not important” 57.1% of the time.  Since these practices are critical to open access scholarship, convincing faculty members of the value in retaining their copyrights and self-archiving their publications is therefore another key educational area for encouraging greater participation in open access at Bucknell.    

Open Access and Tenure

Bucknell faculty members appear to be unsure how open access publications will be evaluated during tenure review.  When asked if they felt in open access journals are acceptable publications in tenure review, 42.9% of respondents answered “don’t know” (44.6% answered “yes,” 8.9% answered “no”).  However, when given the definition of an open access journal–an “online-only peer-reviewed publication”—73.2% of respondents answered “yes,” and only 16.1% of respondents answered “don’t know.”  These results seem to suggest that concerns about tenure review is not necessarily a barrier to open access publishing by Bucknell faculty members, but rather that there is significant confusion about what “open access publishing”  means.

Copyright and Publishing Agreements

Unfortunately, Bucknell faculty members appear to be insufficiently educated about what rights they have retained under their author’s agreements. When asked if their author’s agreements for their last two publications had allowed them to retain any of four example reproduction and distribution rights, in every case a majority of respondents indicated that they didn’t know.  This lack of knowledge creates a high potential for faculty members to inadvertently violate their copyright agreements.  Faculty members did, however, indicate a strong interest in learning about copyright issues and policies, with 87.8% indicating that they were at least “somewhat” interested in the topic.

For More Information

The full questionnaire for the survey is available here.  Please contact Andrew Asher, Bucknell Scholarly Communications Fellow, with any questions or comments at or ex. 7-3378.

Bucknell Celebrates International Open Access Week

In celebration of International Open Access Week (Oct. 18-24), please join us for the following special events:

Open Access Publishing Roundtable
Oct. 20, 12-1 pm, Bertrand Library Traditional Reading Room

What is open access publishing and why is it important to you? Join Bucknell faculty members for a round table discussion about their experiences with open access publishing and their views on the future of scholarly communications. Discussants will include Ken Field (Biology), Greg Krohn (Economics), Bill Gruver (Management) and Ben Vollmayr-Lee (Physics). Lunch will be served.

A Fair(y) Use Tale
Oct. 21, 12-1 pm, Bertrand Library Traditional Reading Room

In A Fair(y) Use Tale, Eric Faden (English & Film/Media Studies) assembles clips sampled from Disney animated films to create a humorous and informative statement about the meaning of fair use. Following the film, Prof. Faden will discuss his views about Creative Commons and copyright as well as his experience making the film. Lunch will be served.

Scholarly Publishing Happy Hour
Fri., Oct. 22, 4-5 pm, Willard Smith Library, Vaughan Literature Building

Getting ready to publish your work? Join Andrew Asher, Bucknell’s Scholarly Communications Fellow, for an informal gathering to learn what you need to know about copyright, publishing agreements, and protecting your rights as an author. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served (Note: This event is reserved for faculty and staff only).

Introducing Open Access at Bucknell

This blog is dedicated to the discussion of issues surrounding scholarly publishing and open access at Bucknell.   My hope is that it will not only be an informational resource for Bucknell’s faculty and students, but also a space where we can engage in a conversation about the open access movement and the role of open access at Bucknell.  In the coming weeks, I will be posting more detailed discussions about current issues surrounding open access in higher education, so in this first post I’ll limit myself to answering just a few introductory questions:

What is open access?

The principle of open access scholarship is simple: to make scholarly publications and materials freely available on the internet for unrestricted use.  The goal of open access is to remove pricing barriers (e.g. subscription costs) and permission barriers (e.g. restrictive licensing policies) in order to disseminate scholarship as widely as possible.

Why is open access important?

Open access enables your work to reach a wider audience.  Open access allows anyone to access your work regardless of their own, or their institution’s, ability to pay subscription fees.   This is especially important for students and scholars working in less affluent countries and universities.  Advocates of open access assert that academic research is a public good, and as such the public should have access to it.  Furthermore, as a matter of social justice, open access is simply the right thing to do.

Open access also benefits authors.  Increased access leads to increased exposure for your work, more citations, and greater impact.

How does open access work?

For open access to work, a scholar must make a copy of his or her work available on the internet to be crawled and indexed by search engines.  One way to do this is to publish in a fully open access journal.   Another way is to place your work in an institutional repository, like Bucknell’s Scholar Vault, which will preserve, maintain, and make available a digital copy of your work.  You can also deposit your work in a disciplinary repository (such as arXiv (physics) or the social science research network (SSRN)).  This process is called self-archiving.

Would I have to publish in open access specific journals?

No.  Many journals and publishers already explicitly allow self-archiving in their author’s agreements.  In fact, approximately 50% of the journal articles published by Bucknell faculty are already eligible for self-archiving[1].  You can obtain permission to self-archive from other journals and publishers by adding an addendum to your author’s agreement, such as the example available from the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).  You can also check the policies of specific journals and publishers at SHERPA’s RoMEO database.

Does open access change peer review?

No.  Open access does not change the peer review process, and all serious advocates for open access emphasize the importance and value of peer review.

Does open access affect copyright?

Open access is fully compatible with current copyright laws. Open access does not change the principles of copyright, only how the rights are allocated. Because authors retain more rights, open access gives more power to authors.

What are other institutions doing?

Many universities nationwide are exploring open access policies. Faculty governing bodies at several institutions, including Duke, Harvard, University of Kansas, and Oberlin, have recently taken the additional step of passing a resolution requiring their faculty members to make all their future journal articles open access.

I’m interested in open access, where can I get more information?

There are many excellent resources available on open access,  including Peter Suber’s “Open Access Overview” and “Open Access News,” the Open Access Directory,  Steven Harnad’s “Open Access Archivangelism” blog, the  SPARC website, and the Right to research Coalition, a student advocacy group.

Please also feel free to contact me with your comments and questions. 

[1] The figure is calculated from the publication list compiled by the Bertrand Library in 2009 and 2010.