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University of Calgary Signs Open Access Compact

[Reproduced from the University of Calgary announcement.]

Scholarly works available for free online

Calgary, Alberta, Canada, October 18, 2010 — The University of Calgary joins 11 other prestigious post-secondary institutions in making scholarly works more accessible by offering free online content as a signatory to the Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity (COPE).

Open access makes scholarly and other content freely available online to all users, without barriers, such as subscriptions or pay-per-view/use costs. Signatories to the compact commit to supporting new business models for the publication of open access journals.

The original COPE members include Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of California at Berkeley. More recent signers include the University of Ottawa. The University of Calgary is the second Canadian member of COPE.

Journals are the most well-known proponents of the open access movement and there are now more than 5,500 open access journals worldwide. These journals cover their costs in a variety of ways, such as levying fees on the author side of journal production.

The compact commits each signatory to developing ways of underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.

Since mid-2008, the U of C's Libraries and Cultural Resources has operated the Open Access Authors Fund. The fund meets COPE requirements by covering many author-side fees for U of C researchers who publish in open access journals that charge such fees. The first such fund in Canada and the sixth in the world, the Open Access Authors Fund has covered 135 articles to date.

The U of C fund is part of a suite of programs that support open access through the Centre for Scholarly Communication. The centre also includes: DSpace, an institutional repository that collects and makes available the digital scholarly output of the university; the national CFI-funded Synergies project; and the University of Calgary Press. The U of C press has several open access journals under its imprint and will be releasing its first open access monograph during Open Access Week 2010.

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