KU Libraries Open Access Investments and Commitments

KU Libraries is committed to simultaneously providing access to content needed to support research and teaching and to preparing for and supporting the evolution of the scholarly publishing landscape towards a more sustainable future. We see open access (OA) as a key element to a more equitable and accessible scholarly publishing system. In addition to supporting the use of KU ScholarWorks, the Faculty Open Access Policy, publishing open journals, and related scholarly communication services, we have invested in the support of publisher programs, infrastructure, and member organizations that support open access, including the following:

Annual Reviews Subscribe to Open

 We are a pilot participant in the Annual Reviews' Subscribe to Open model. If enough libraries subscribe, Annual Reviews will make some of their journals open access and eliminate APCs  for authors. Participating libraries do not pay more than they previously did in subscription fees for this model. In order for this model to succeed, enough libraries must maintain subscriptions to keep these journals open, otherwise they will return to a traditional paywalled model.


We are a supporting member of arXiv, an open access digital archive of over 1 million scientific e-prints that has been online since 1991. arXiv hosts scholarship and research results from the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, and statistics that are heavily used by members of the KU community.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) 

We are a supporting member of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), one of several key international sources of information about the new publishing model for peer-reviewed scholarly research - open access journals. In 2014, under new leadership, the DOAJ project underwent significant revisions and vetting of its criteria for inclusion.  KU has been a long-time user of this resource and supports the more rigorous criteria and review before a new journal is added to its database. In order to support the ongoing nonprofit efforts, KU became a supporting member in the Fall of 2014.

HathiTrust Digital Library 

KU is a proud member of the HathiTrust Digital Library. This partnership will allow KU faculty, staff, and students to access full text of the 2.7 million volumes in the public domain that are held by the HathiTrust.

JSTOR’s Path to Open

Over 30 university presses are working with JSTOR and the American Council of Learned Societies to publish 1,000 open books between 2023-2026. Titles included cover disciplines in the humanities and social sciences and undergo traditional peer-review process expected of works from a university press. As a participating library, KU gains exclusive access to the frontlist Path to Open books as they are published. Three years after publication, the titles will then be released openly to the world.

Knowledge Unlatched 

We are a supporter and contributing member of this project to provide open access to books published by well-known university presses. Titles are being made openly available via OAPEN and HathiTrust as fully downloadable PDFs immediately upon publication.

KU One-University Open Access Publishing Fund 

Since 2012,  we have provided funding for a pilot program to support KU authors that publish in open access journals. Co-managed by KU Medical Center and KU-Lawrence librarians, and funded by the Provost’s Office and Offices of Research of both locations. For KU-Lawrence and KU Med Center faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Open Book Publishers 

We have joined the library membership program established by Open Book Publishers (OBP), a non-profit organized by academics in Cambridge (UK) to publish rigorously peer-reviewed open access monographs. Membership allows KU Libraries to provide free ebook downloads (pdf, epub and mobi) and discounted prices for print versions of all OBP titles to faculty, staff and students. Currently, the OBP catalog includes 58 titles in the humanities and social sciences, with at least 12 new titles expected to be published during the next year. As a member of the program, KU Libraries joins 130 other leading research libraries in the United States (including Princeton, Yale, and Purdue) as well as a number in the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, and New Zealand.

Open Library of Humanities 

We are a contributor to the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), a peer-reviewed gold open access platform for the humanities that aims to provide free online access to scholarship, including the OLH mega-journal (a new trans-disciplinary space for humanities work) and 26 other peer reviewed, open access journals to date. As a gold open access publisher, the OLH operates via funding from an international library consortium without fees to authors or readers.

Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) 

We contribute to SCOAP3. This project ensures that the content of the well-respected journals in particle physics are openly accessible (no subscription needed) as long as there are enough libraries to pay the equivalent of the traditional subscriptions. In the long run the content is open to anyone in the world with an internet connection and over time, has resulted in reduced pricing.

University of Michigan Press Fund to Mission Model 

KU Libraries has supported UMP’s Fund to Mission Open Access Monograph Model since 2021 and has pledged support through 2025. As a supporter, KU Libraries will own all UMP e-books published during this period and if enough other libraries pledge support UMP will make at least 50% of their books open without charging authors book processing charges. 

Helpful Links

Sustainable Scholarship Contacts

Acquisitions and Resource Sharing

Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright