UNT to host symposium on open access to faculty members’ published research

Friday, May 24, 2013 - 17:42

DENTON (UNT), Texas — For the fourth year in a row, the University of North Texas Libraries will hold a symposium that will feature speakers discussing institutional open access policies, which make university faculty members’ published scholarly research available to the public for free. UNT was the first public college or university in Texas to adopt an open access policy, and the annual symposium advances the public trust in taxpayer-funded research by bringing together higher education and industry leaders who are committed to creating online archives for published research.

The 4th Symposium on Open Access, “Futures of Academic Publishing,” will be held from 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. May 30 (Thursday) and 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. May 31 (Friday) at the office of Communities Foundation of Texas, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane in Dallas. About 150 representatives from UNT, Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin, as well from Cornell, Duke and Purdue Universities and other universities across the nation, are expected to attend.

The UNT Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the College of Information and UNT Libraries sponsored the first Open Access Symposium in May 2010 to help to move UNT and other academic institutions in Texas forward in consideration of institutional open access policies. The first symposium presented faculty members and administrators with deeper understandings of the benefits, opportunities, and implications of adopting the policies.

“As a scholar, I strongly believe that open access is the future of academic research,” said Spencer Keralis, director for digital scholarship and research associate professor for the UNT Digital Scholarship Co-Operative, noting that scholars “must be more transparent about the products of our work.”

“Making our published research openly available is one way to develop that trust. UNT has been a leader in creating a culture of open access in academic research. We’re very proud ot be part of this movement,” he said.

In February 2012, the UNT Board of Regents approved an open access policy, after it was previously approved by the UNT Faculty Senate in March 2011. The policy requires faculty members to deposit digital copies of their manuscripts that have been accepted to scholarly journals, or the final published journal articles as allowed by publishers’ policies, into the UNT Scholarly Works website, which is hosted in the UNT Digital Library. The articles must be submitted no later than their publication dates in the journals. 

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, director of scholarly communication at the Modern Language Association, will be the symposium’s keynote speaker at 9 a.m. May 30 (Thursday). She is the author of Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, and is the co-founder of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons.

Other speakers include:

Jeffrey Beall, scholarly initiatives librarian at the University of Colorado at Denver’s Auraria Library, Beall is the author of the blog Scholarly Open Access. His research has appeared in numerous publications, including College & Research Libraries and Cataloging & Classification Quarterly.

Anne R. Kenney, chief academic and administrative officer of the Cornell University Library. Kenney is a fellow and past president of the Society of American Archivists. Anne is involved in the Social Science Research Council's Committee on Libraries and Archives of Cuba and is a member of the advisory committee of Portico, a digital preservation and archiving service. 

•Katherine Skinner, executive director of the Educopia Institute, a not-for-profit educational organization for scholarly communication. Skinner is the founding program director for the MetaArchive Cooperative, an international digital preservation network of libraries and archives.

•Julie Speer, associate dean for research and informatics at Virginia Tech University. For the past eight years, Speer has been involved in the development of digital library services designed to provide preservation, visualization, and open access strategies for institutional and inter-institutional digital research, scholarship, and cultural heritage collections. She has contributed to various inter-institutional sponsored research projects aimed at advancing the transformative role of libraries as knowledge specialists on the Internet.

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