Appendix C



Senate Policy on Open Access



The Open Access Task Force has been charged to provide an Open at Penn State recommendation to follow on the unanimous 2015 Faculty Senate Open Access Resolution. (  In March 2017, Provost Nick Jones and Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications Barbara Dewey charged the Penn State Open Access Task Force to investigate and recommend opportunities to promote open and free access to Penn State scholarly output to maximize impact and availability of research and establish Penn State as a leader in the international Open Access Movement. The task force was asked to: 1) draft a policy statement on Open Access for Penn State; 2) recommend procedures for implementing the policy; and 3) recommend a suite of strategies to advance the Open at Penn State Initiative.

There are two primary motivations for open access to scholarly outputs:

  1. Increasing access to research and scholarship
  2. Addressing the unsustainable rising costs of academic journal subscriptions

Open at Penn State promotes and supports Penn State activities in pursuit of providing openly available scholarly output, including research outputs such as data and publications. Open at Penn State engages in the international conversation and efforts to promote open access to scholarly research with peers in the Big Ten, such as Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, and Rutgers, across the United States such as Harvard University, MIT, and the University of California System, and internationally with Cambridge University, JISC (UK), University of Freiburg, Project Deal (Germany), and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). As of July 2018, 130 Open Access policies have been implemented in the United States. (ROAR MAP: A Harvard Open Access Model Policy is available complete with explanatory annotations and is freely available for adoption by other institutes: ).  In addition to open access policies from individual institutions, funding agencies have also increasingly enforced open access as part of the conditions of financial support. Examples of funders with open access mandates include: National Institute of Health, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and the World Bank.

The purpose of this forensic discussion is to further engage Faculty Senate members with issues of open access and address desires for and concerns with engaging in the open access world-wide efforts. This discussion will inform the upcoming recommendations that the Open Access Task Force will propose to Faculty Senate.


  1. Should the University Senate support a policy (similar to those in place at other major research institutions) that would enable the majority of research articles produced at Penn State to be distributed freely to researchers and citizens worldwide? PSU authors would retain copyright in their works and the policy would be in full compliance with copyright laws.
  2. How should the University further encourage faculty to consider publishing in appropriate and respected open access journals in their discipline building on The Senate OA Resolution of 2015?
  3. How can the University modify P&T Procedures/Expectations to clarify that contributions to open access publications can be of equal (or greater) value to contributions to non-open access publications; and that faculty contributions should be evaluated on impact to the profession, not the business model of the publication (open access vs. traditional subscription)? Is this a university or department-level discussion?
  4. How can the University support a sustainable financial model for disseminating scholarly research and output?


  • Fred Aebli, Vice Chair
  • Mary Beth Clark
  • Barbara Dewey
  • Roger Egolf, Chair
  • Synthea Hairston
  • David Han
  • Michael Kubit
  • John Messner
  • Jacqueline Reid-Walsh
  • Summer Rosendahl
  • Francesca Ruggiero
  • Shuang Shen
  • Harold Smith
  • Jennifer Sparrow
  • Cristina Truica
  • Stephanie Walker