OA @ the CUNY IT Conference

A few of us who have been involved with the Open Access @ CUNY movement were part of the 2011 CUNY IT Conference last Friday at John Jay College. Jill Cirasella and I joined CUNY library faculty members Kathleen Collins and Rhonda Johnson for the panel “Copyright, Fair Use and Open License Tools Online.” Kathleen and Rhonda did a great job presenting all of the resources available to the copyright-curious through the (C)OPYRIGHT @ CUNY website–a resource ripe with information for students, faculty and librarians about using copyrighted works in the classroom and academia at large.

Jill and I then talked a bit about licensing your own work outside the parameters of standard copyright. My presentation, “You Don’t Need My Permission: Freeing Scholarship by Hacking Copyright,” which can be seen here, ran through some of the basics of free licenses and why you might consider using one for your work. Jill’s presentation, “Going Open Doesn’t Mean Going It Alone: Tools to Help Make Your Content Open,” which can be viewed here, showcased a number of tools that can help navigate the waters of Open Access publishing.

We would love if these materials could reach a wider audience than just those who were able to make it to our talk, and the conference!

CUNY Institutional Repository: Coming Soon-ish?

Good news for open access at CUNY!  Last week, CUNY’s University Faculty Senate passed a resolution in support of the creation of a CUNY-wide institutional repository.  You may be familiar with subject repositories such as arXiv (physics and other sciences) and SSRN (social sciences), where researchers in specific disciplines upload their articles, making them freely available to everyone.  However, not all fields have robust subject repositories, and institutional repositories are crucial for reaching the goal of 100% open access to scholarly literature.  A CUNY institutional repository will give CUNY faculty and other researchers a permanent place to post their articles (and other work), regardless of field.

You might wonder, “Are researchers allowed to make their scholarly journal articles freely available online?” Very often, the answer is YES.  A majority of journal publishers allow self-archiving of this kind; to check the policy of a specific publisher or journal, go to http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/.  (Even if a journal doesn’t automatically allow it, authors can negotiate their rights with the SPARC Author Addendum.)

To clarify, the UFS resolution of support is not an open access policy along the lines of those passed at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, etc., in which faculty automatically grant their university a nonexclusive right to distribute their articles (with the ability to opt out, if necessary or desired).  It is my ardent hope that CUNY will pass such a policy in the not-too-distant future, but a vote in favor of an institutional repository is a huge step in the right direction.  Next step, actually create the institutional repository!

The full text of the UFS resolution is below:

WHEREAS there is a need for open-access models to assist libraries and institutions in dealing with the budgetary challenges presented by the ever-increasing costs charged by journal publishers; and

WHEREAS open-access institutional repositories do not replace traditional publishing but rather serve as an additional venue for maximizing access to the fruits of faculty research; and

WHEREAS numerous universities have created open-access institutional repositories and associated policies, and many more universities are currently working toward such repositories and policies; and

WHEREAS the City University of New York is committed to educating the public and making knowledge accessible and affordable; therefore let it be

RESOLVED that the University Faculty Senate supports the development of an open-access institutional repository for the City University of New York, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in accordance with best practices, guidelines for depositing materials into the CUNY repository should be created by faculty appointed by the UFS working with the Office of Library Services and should include recommendations to faculty to deposit finished journal articles, preprints, chapters, etc. The guidelines should encourage but not require faculty to contribute to the repository, and ensure that depositing a work into the repository will not affect the author’s copyright.

Thanks for a Great OA Week!

OA Panel

We had a fabulous panel on October 28 at the Graduate Center. I wanted to share a few links for the presentations that our panelists shared, and once again to thank everyone for coming out to this event as well as the other celebrations that were held throughout the week. We organizers were inspired by our discussions, and already are working hard on new projects and collaborations, in and outside of CUNY.

Matthew K Gold’s slideshow from October 28 can be viewed here, and more about the work of Trebor Scholz can be found at MobilityShifts.org. You can keep up with Radical Teacher at their website, and perhaps find more information about why Michael Mandiberg is critical of Open Access (he wants to touch, not just view) at his website.