New OA policy at Penn State to expand reach of University research -

A new open access policy at Penn State, recently endorsed by the University Faculty Senate, will greatly increase public availability of original, peer-reviewed Penn State scholarly research in support of the University’s land-grant mission.

Under the policy — expected to be implemented by Penn State President Eric Barron in the fall 2019 semester — Penn State researchers will remain free to submit their work to scholarly journals of their choice. The policy also will not transfer copyright ownership of scholarly works to Penn State. In addition, a waiver option in the policy guarantees that researchers are able to opt out of open access for each one of their publications on an individual-article basis; these waivers would be automatically approved.

Progress toward the new policy began in earnest in April 2015, when the Faculty Senate passed an open access resolution. In 2017, Provost Nick Jones and Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications Barbara I. Dewey charged a Penn State Open Access Task Force to ‘investigate and recommend opportunities to promote open and free access to Penn State scholarly output to maximise impact and availability of research and establish Penn State as a leader in the international Open Access movement.’ The charge included drafting an open access policy for the University and recommending steps to implement the policy.

The task force also was charged to recommend a ‘suite of strategies to advance the Open at Penn State Initiative,’ which has been implemented. Open at Penn State, found at, supports University researchers in addressing and advancing affordable, discoverable and equitable access to information, scholarly research, educational resources and research data within the University community.

Provided by the University Libraries in collaboration with University and consortial partners, Open at Penn State includes Open Access, Open Publishing, Open Educational Resources, Open Source and Penn State University Press Unlocked, the Press’ open access initiative. Details about each of these initiatives are available on the Open at Penn State website.

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