Identifying Open Access Articles within the Top Ten Closed Access LIS Journals: A Global Perspective.

Author:Chaudhuri, Jayati


There is a considerable body of literature dealing with the expanding definition and implications of open access information. The open access movement is commonly thought to have begun with the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002 when the phrase open access originated and the concepts of self-archiving and open-access journals were introduced ( The Bethesda statement (2003) emphasized scientific publishing and included statements from funding agencies, libraries, publishers, and scientists regarding a new open access model of publishing. The Berlin declaration (2003) broadened the OA conversation even more to the freedom of information and using the Internet to globally disseminate knowledge ( This more inclusive definition was also used by Peter Suber who stated that "open access literature (OA) is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright licensing restrictions"(2013, p.1).

Open access literature can be divided into three types: gold, green, and hybrid. Gold open access can be accessed free of charge by the user and may include some type of pay model for the author. The color green is used to designate closed access journals that allow some form of the article (i.e. pre-print or post-print) to be self-archived by the author. Hybrid journals give authors the option of paying to have the full versions of their articles from a closed access journal made freely available to users (Joshi, Vatnal, & Manjunath, 2012). According to the SHERPA/RoMEO database which lists publishers' self-archiving policies, "76% of the 1818 publishers on their list allow some form of self- archiving" (2015), making it much easier for faculty authors to archive their articles in institutional repositories or subject repositories (SRs).

Opinions and Practice of Open Access

There have been a number of studies conducted about LIS authors' attitudes regarding OA publishing and these three types of access models. Peterson (2006) polled 100 published LIS authors about their opinions and concerns about publishing in an OA journal. She discovered that permanence, credibility, and acceptability for promotion and tenure were found to be major factors in choosing a journal for publication, and these factors seemed to strengthen authors' preference for print LIS literature and away from publishing in gold OA journals. "Forty-one percent of those surveyed thought that OA free access on the Internet was not important (Peterson, 2006, p.6).

Carter, Snyder, & Imre (2005) conducted an online survey with responses from 140 academic library faculty from 10 research libraries across the country about their attitudes and experiences with scholarly communication. Concerns about choosing a journal in which to publish were related to the promotion and tenure process and included things such as the review period of the journal, as well as its reputation and peer-review status. "Almost one-half indicated that their primary concern was the publication of their articles and that a publisher's copyright and intellectual property policies were not considered in selecting a journal for article submission (Carter, Snyder, & Imre 2005, p.77).

(Palmer, Dill, & Christie, 2009) found that "librarians support the concepts of open access, and more important, believe that these concepts are related to their work as librarians" (p.328).

Open Access Initiatives

Academic institutions have been taking different approaches in terms of their open access initiatives. In general, open access initiatives can encourage through a resolution, direct through a policy, or require a through a mandate that faculty deposit their research articles in their institutional repository. The University of Kansas was the first public university to adopt an OA resolution in 2005 and then a campus-wide OA policy in 2009.

( In 2008 Harvard University adopted an OA policy that brought lot of media attention as the first university-level OA mandate within the United States to be adopted by faculty rather than administrators (

Librarians surveyed were hesitant to publish in OA journals or to self-archive their articles and yet, "When asked if they would deposit copies of their articles in an institutional or subjectbased repository, if mandated by their institution, the overwhelming majority (89 percent) indicated that they would do so willingly (Carter, Snyder, & Imre 2005 p.74).

Another identified way to increase the use of the institutional repositories is to mediate the submission process through some type of liaison system such as having a librarian, staff member or student submit the article for the faculty member (Xia, 2007). Librarians have even gone so far as to study faculty work habits to develop ways to make self- archiving in IRs as user friendly to faculty as possible (Foster, Gibbons, 2005). Xia (2007) posits that "institutional repositories need a mandate policy to ensure success"(p.653).

Open Access and Library and Information Science Literature

There is a surprisingly limited amount of information available about gold OA LIS journals and the self-archiving practices of...

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