Brock University is modernizing its model of support for open access publishing to make it more equitable and multi-disciplinary.
As the publishing landscape rapidly evolves, the Brock University Library is working to better meet the needs of researchers in line with other Canadian research institutions.
New and enhanced supports are available to Brock researchers to publish their research via open access channels.
Investments in open access will focus on supporting a growing number of multi-disciplinary publisher agreements and memberships, which offer discounts or fee waivers for Brock authors. Many major publishers participate in these ‘read-and-publish’ agreements, which are already saving Brock researchers tens of thousands of dollars, said Nicole Nolan, Associate University Librarian, Research.
The Library also plans to expand investments in internal and external community-controlled open access platforms and infrastructure, such as the Brock Digital Repository and the Directory of Open Access Journals.
“Supporting researchers with their publishing practices is a top priority,” Nolan said. “We want to help researchers achieve their outcomes. We have many supports in place that can help them navigate the changing publishing landscape and more easily disseminate their research.”
One important change is a shift away from investing in an Open Access Fund, which had provided researchers with grants to pay for article processing charges (APCs). APCs, which are one business model used by some open access publishers, have created an economic barrier for many researchers. After careful consideration and consultation, a decision was made by the Library Scholarly Communications Working Group to reinvest this funding in supports that would more equitably serve Brock researchers while continuing to support open access.
“We’re moving away from an inequitable model for open access and shifting more of our attention towards investing in open access platforms and infrastructures that are more equitable and multi-disciplinary,” said Elizabeth Yates, Research and Scholarly Communications Librarian. “Research indicates that the APC model of open access prioritizes well-funded male researchers at prestigious institutions. There are much more equitable, effective and sustainable ways of supporting open access publishing.”
Yates said it’s also important to note that researchers are not required to pay APCs to comply with Brock University’s Open Access Policy.
An upcoming Building Better Research webinar will review available supports in more detail. Yates will be joined by Research Officer Vincent Annibale to discuss no-fee publishing, publisher discounts, sharing via the Brock Digital Repository and building APCs into grant funding applications.
How to plan for open access without breaking the bank will take place Tuesday, April 4 from noon to 1 p.m. via Microsoft Teams.
“There are many strategies for making work openly accessible for little or no cost — the key is planning ahead,” Yates said. “Open access is associated with higher citation rates, greater research impact and the fact knowledge should be a public good.”