Duke Joins Compact for Open Access to Scholarly Journals

[Reproduced from the Duke University announcement]

Duke Joins Compact for Open Access to Scholarly Journals

Duke University has joined a group of leading research institutions in signing a Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE). The goal of the compact is to make it easier for researchers to publish their work in open-access scholarly journals, where it would be freely available online.

As part of its commitment to COPE, Duke has created a special fund to help pay for article processing fees. Beginning this month, any Duke faculty member, post-doctoral researcher, graduate or professional student whose article is accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed, open-access journal can apply to have associated article processing fees reimbursed. The fund, which will be administered by the Libraries' Office of Scholarly Communications, is supported by the Duke University Libraries and the Office of the Provost.

Open-access journals make published research available for free to anyone who has access to the Internet, not just those who can afford a subscription or have access to an institutional subscription. Some open-access journals charge authors an article-processing fee for reviewing, editing, producing and distributing their work, because those costs are not otherwise recovered through subscriptions. COPE aims to encourage open access by supporting Duke authors who find the fees an obstacle to publication.

According to Provost Peter Lange, the aims of COPE are in keeping with Duke's continued emphasis on knowledge in the service of society. "By establishing this fund, we hope to support the university's commitment to promoting openness as an important value in scholarship," Lange said. "Increased open access means more opportunities for the research of our faculty and researchers to reach a wide audience and have a meaningful impact on the world."

Lange noted this is the latest in a series of efforts Duke has made to support open access as an institutional priority. In March, the university's Academic Council adopted an open access policy that applies to all Duke faculty.

Kevin L. Smith, scholarly communications officer with Duke University Libraries, said the goal of COPE is not to subsidize any particular publication or researcher, but rather "to remove potential barriers to publishing in open access venues. The idea is to prevent publication side-fees from inhibiting authors who see open access to their work as a benefit."

Moreover, Smith hopes the university's commitment will raise awareness of the growing body of open-access journals in all disciplines. With the advent of online publishing, open access has emerged as an alternative to the traditional fee- and subscription-based model of scholarly publishing.

"Several open-access journals, such as those in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) family, have quickly grown in influence and now demonstrate high impact factors in their fields," Smith noted.

Duke is one of 11 institutions so far to join the COPE initiative. Others include Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of Ottawa, Columbia University, the University of Michigan, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Universitat de Barcelona.

The Duke University Libraries have created a website with more information about the COPE program, including the kinds of fees covered, eligibility requirements and instructions on how authors can apply for reimbursement. For more information, visit


University of Barcelona Joins COPE

M. Teresa Anguera, Vicerector for teaching and scientific policies, on behalf of the Rector, Professor Didac Ramirez, has committed the Universitat de Barcelona to the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity. The action follows on from the university's recent establishment of an open-access fund to underwrite publication fees for articles written by members of the university and published in open-access journals. The University of Barcelona is the first European university to join the Compact.


University of Michigan Joins Compact

[Reproduced from the University of Michigan announcement]

University of Michigan Joins the Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity

ANN ARBOR, September 16, 2010 — The University of Michigan announces its participation in the Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity (COPE). COPE is a consortium of universities that support open-access publishing by subsidizing publication fees for open-access journals. Many leading universities and research centers are members of the compact, including Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of Ottawa, Columbia University, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. At the University of Michigan, the program will be administered and funded by the University Library.

The University of Michigan’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Philip J. Hanlon, says, "The University of Michigan recognizes the value of open access to scholarly works, and we are proud to join other leading universities in this innovative approach to supporting open-access publication. Ultimately, it can both reduce our own costs for journal acquisition and can help ensure that the work of our faculty is disseminated as broadly as possible."

Peer-reviewed, open-access journals provide free electronic access to anyone worldwide, thus maximizing use and promoting learning.  “We are participating because we recognize the importance of open-access journals,” says Paul Courant, University of Michigan Librarian and Dean of Libraries. "Our goal is to provide the broadest possible access to the scholarly record and join our colleagues in an important effort to examine new economic models for scholarly publishing."

"We hope to raise campus awareness of open-access publishing options and to remove barriers to exercising those options," adds Dean Courant. All University of Michigan faculty, post-doctoral researchers, staff members, and students are eligible and may apply for these funds by filling out a simple form expressing interest. By joining COPE, the University of Michigan makes a commitment to subsidize authors’ fees. The effectiveness of the program will be evaluated after a two-year trial period.

Peer-reviewed, scholarly articles accepted for publication in open-access journals are eligible for funding. The Library has developed a set of principles to guide funding decisions for the immediate future listed at The University is particularly interested in funding articles for which the author retains copyright and that will appear in fully open journals accessible immediately upon publication. The goal is to support as many U-M authors in as many disciplines as possible.


Compact Signatory MIT Adds Open-Access Fund

MIT, one of the founding signatories of the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity, has announced the availability of funds for underwriting open-access publication fees in accordance with the Compact. The announcement states

The MIT Libraries have established a special fund, the MIT Open Access Article Publication Subvention Fund (OAAPSF), to support equity in open-access publication by providing funding to MIT authors who might not otherwise be able to cover publication fees. A subsidy of up to $1,000 per article is now available to faculty authors publishing in eligible journals.

The fund was created as a result of MIT’s commitment to the “Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity,” launched with four other founding universities last September. The goal of the compact is to allow subscription-based journals and open-access journals to compete on a more level playing field by providing equitable support for the processing-fee business model for open-access journals. 


Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Joins Compact

The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the world's oldest and largest private cancer center, has joined as a signatory of the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity. MSKCC has a strong history in research publication in open-access journals and support for open-access initiatives.  We are honored to welcome MSKCC as a compact signatory.