This article was written by Lucy Carr Jones, and edited by Kimberley R. Barker.
2023 marks the sixteenth year of International Open Access Week, a time when libraries and research organizations promote the unrestricted access to knowledge. There are many ways of making journal articles open access, including publishing in open access journals, making articles available in funder repositories like PubMedCentral (PMC), and depositing copies in an institutional repository. Wider access to information can help promote equity, and speed the progress of science, but the reality of open access publishing is often complex and hard to navigate. At the Health Sciences Library, we are happy to assist you.
We have recently published a new Scholarly Communications guide, which includes a page on open access listing all of UVA’s publishing partnerships that make it possible for you to publish open access without paying an article processing fee. The University Library maintains the LibraOpen repository, where you can share your manuscripts, conference presentations, or other materials that would otherwise be inaccessible. HSL librarians can also help you to post a preprint ahead of publication, which will remain open even if the resulting article is published in a subscription journal, or choose a journal that offers open access options.
Coming federal policy changes will soon make even more research available to the public. Last year, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy published what is commonly known as the Nelson Memo, requiring that, starting in 2025, all journal articles and data resulting from government funded research be immediately available to the public. NIH has already had a Public Access Policy in place since 2008, but currently publishers are allowed to request up to a 12 month embargo before their articles appear in PMC. This will be a momentous change for scholarly publishing, and it remains to be seen how publishers will adapt their business models to suit this new reality. The Health Sciences Library will continue to share information about changes in the publishing landscape, and librarians are available to discuss any questions you might have about these policies or your publishing options.
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