Open Access Initiatives @ The University of Kansas

The University of Kansas Libraries is committed to simultaneously providing access to resources needed to support research and teaching AND to preparing for and supporting the evolution of the scholarly publishing landscape so that future KU faculty and students can advance the scholarly record and participate in an equitable and accessible scholarly publishing system.

To that end, KU Libraries supports a number of innovative projects through funding, memberships, and management, including open access monograph publishing, open journal publishing, and supporting KU authors’ experimentation with emerging access and dissemination models. Supporting these initiatives is the result of collaboration between the Libraries' staff and librarians in its Content Development, Acquisitions & Resource Sharing, and the Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright.

Support for KU Authors engaging with Open Access publishers:

  • 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. More information.
  • The Electrochemical Society (ECS) - We subscribe to ECS Plus, a program that allows KU faculty to openly publish their articles in ECS journals (Journal of the Electrochemical Society and ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology) with no charge to the author. There are no limits on the number of papers that can be published in any given subscription year. More information.
  • Cogitatio - We have established a membership with Cogitatio, the publisher of three open access journals in the humanities: Media and CommunicationPolitics and Government, and Social Inclusion. This institutional membership allows KU authors (faculty or graduate students with a or email account) to have the author fees waived if a paper is accepted for publication. KU will pay the fee for up to two KU authored papers per year with this publisher. A respected member of the KU faculty is on the editorial board for one of the journals. More information.
  • PeerJ - We have established an institutional membership in PeerJ, an open-access peer-reviewed scientific journal. As a result, PeerJ will waive the lifetime membership fees for up to 38 KU authors that get an article accepted by PeerJ. More information.

Support for Innovative Open Publishing Projects Making Scholarly Content Available to All:  

  • 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. For more about KU Libraries' participation in OLH, see KU Libraries joins Open Library of Humanities.
  • 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. For more information, including a list of available titles, see:
  • arXiv - 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. More information.
  • 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. More information.


Ada Emmett
Head, Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright
Office of Scholarly Communications & Copyright
Watson Library, Room 450

Josh Bolick
Scholarly Communication Librarian
Office of Scholarly Communications & Copyright
Watson Library, Room 450

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