What Faculty Can Do

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As researchers and authors, Texas A&M faculty members should take advantage of new models of scholarly communication and the benefits they provide. Listed here are some steps that faculty can take:

  • Identify and use open access literature. Chances are, you're doing this already. When you begin research, use search tools like Google Scholar and OAIster that search through open access content. You can use the Directory of Open Access Journals or Ulrich's Periodicals Database to find open access journals in your field.

  • Check your journal or publisher's copyright or publication policy. Most journals allow their authors to make their work available open access after publication. The SHERPA/RoMEO website lists the open access policies of thousands of publications. You can use this resource to help determine what rights are retained by authors to specific journals.

  • Scrutinize and amend your publication agreements. As an author, you want to retain as much of your copyright as possible when publishing in a traditional subscription based journal. Some rights will need to be given to the publisher, but the author needs to retain non-commercial distribution rights to take advantage of open access through a repository. The goal is to arrive at a publication agreement that meets the needs of both the author and publisher.

  • Consider publishing in an open access journal. When published in an open access journal, your work will receive wider distribution, increased visibility, and a greater impact. Though they distribute their content online, these journals use a peer-review system identical to those of print-based journals.

  • Apply for the OAK Fund to publish your research findings in open access journals.  
  • Begin your own open access collection in the Texas A&M Digital Repository. By depositing your work in OAK Trust (Digital Repository), you can gain both open access and preservation of your materials. Further, it can serve as a central point for all of your personal research and publications. Depositing items is simple and takes only a few minutes, the submission guidelines can walk you through the process.

  • Consider starting an open access journal in your field. Through Texas A&M's membership in the Texas Digital Library, faculty members have access to the Open Journal System. This system manages the entire workflow of publication, from author submission, peer review, editing, and final publication. Both starting a brand new journal and transitioning print-based journals to open access are possibilities.

  • Discuss the issues of scholarly communication with your colleagues. Scholarly communication is a big issue for all faculty and all faculty members have an interest in wider distribution and increased impact. In particular, talk with junior faculty about the role of copyright and the rights they want to protect when submitting their first articles for publication.
  • Learn more. Check out the University and additional resources to stay informed.

To discuss how you can begin to take these steps, please contact your subject librarian or the Office of Scholarly Communications at digital@library.tamu.edu.