KU University Senate approves resolution supporting open access

KU’s University Senate unanimously approved a resolution adopting principles of open access at the university. 

The resolution outlines two key components. First, it encourages KU scholars to publish in open access journals and/or archive their articles in KU’s open access digital repository, KU ScholarWorks.

Second, it encourages the libraries to include open access as a guiding principle in journal negotiations for the university and to “prioritize openness by crafting agreements that advance open access and other methods of open dissemination for research outputs.” 

The resolution was put forth in part as a continuation of KU Libraries’ open access initiatives, which include publisher negotiations. Negotiations working toward providing the best possible collections have been challenged by the costs of large journal packages, particularly those by large commercial publishers such as Elsevier, SAGE and Wiley, as journal packages and other collections costs continue to rise. 

“We deeply appreciate these efforts by the University Senate. They signal the support of our colleagues outside of the libraries, their knowledge that scholarly publishing is changing and needs to change and an embrace of openness in the future of research communications. That has been a hallmark and strength of KU, which I hope to continue,” said Josh Bolick, head of the David Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright.

KU has an impressive history of support and advocacy of open access. In 2009 and 2010, Faculty Senate passed the KU Faculty Open Access Policy, asserting faculty rights to make their published scholarly articles openly accessible. KU was the first public institution to adopt an open access policy. The newest resolution, approved in April 2022, reaffirms the university’s and KU Libraries’ shared commitment to open access initiatives. 

“The engagement of faculty is an absolutely vital element in all efforts around open access, and it has been a hallmark for many years of open access and KU,” said Kevin Smith, dean of libraries. “This new resolution continues that strong tradition and will be extremely important as the university continues to look toward the future of the scholarly communications ecosystem. In KU Libraries we are especially grateful to work with such knowledgeable and supportive colleagues as we frame our efforts.”

To learn more about KU Libraries’ open access initiatives and how KU scholars can contribute, visit our website or contact Josh Bolick at jbolick@ku.edu.