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KU establishes first coalition of institutions practicing open access

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas was among the first universities in the nation to share faculty research with audiences beyond those with academic journal subscriptions. The university has now taken the lead in forming a coalition with 21 other universities and colleges with established faculty open access policies in North America — such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Duke University and Concordia University in Montreal — to establish the new Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions.

Known as COAPI, the group will collaborate and share implementation strategies and advocate on a national level for institutions with open access policies.

In 2009, KU was the first public university in the United States to adopt an open access policy regarding faculty research published in peer-review journals. The policy “asserts the rights of KU faculty to provide broad, free access to their journal publications to colleagues around the world.”

KU Dean of Libraries Lorraine Haricombe contacted deans and directors at universities and colleges with established open access policies. Haricombe invited them to participate in a teleconference to discuss the possibility of organizing.

During the July 19 teleconference, the group resolved to formalize as COAPI. Their next steps will include a pre-conference meeting at the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference in November in Washington, D.C.

“Society depends on universities for the creation of new knowledge, so we have a responsibility to disseminate and share that knowledge to gain the most benefit for science and society,” Haricombe said. “This new coalition will offer academic institutions an opportunity to stand together and establish open access to knowledge in the sciences and humanities as a broad societal norm.”

Marc L. Greenberg, professor and chair of the Slavic Languages and Literatures department, also participated in the teleconference.

“I always keep the idea of ‘knowledge as a public good’ in mind in doing work for open access,” Greenberg said, “and I view what we do as part of renegotiating the social contract between universities and society. Universities belong to the public.”

“The formation of COAPI sends a strong signal that higher education institutions increasingly consider providing open access to the scholarship produced on their campus a critical element in achieving their core mission,” said Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. “Institutions who have broken ground with established, effective open access policies have crucial experiences to draw upon. COAPI will provide an important new channel for sharing these experiences, strengthening current policies and encouraging other campuses to adopt such policies.”

Great interest was expressed to form COAPI during a conference call with representatives from these institutions with faculty open access policies:

• Arizona State University
• Brigham Young University
• Columbia University 
• Concordia University
• Duke University
• Emory University
• Gustavus Adolphus College
• Harvard University
• Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
• Lafayette College
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
• Oberlin College
• Oregon State University
• Rollins College
• Stanford University
• Trinity University
• University of Hawaii-Manoa
• University of Kansas
• University of North Texas
• University of Northern Colorado
• University of Oregon
• Wake Forest University



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