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Librarians of the University of Washington Implement Open Access Policy

September 15, 2017

As of September 1, 2017 Librarians at the University of Washington will publish their research guided by an Open Access Policy for UW Librarians. The new policy promotes the visibility and accessibility of their scholarly work and makes their research freely available to users.

The Association of Librarians of the University of Washington (ALUW) includes all persons employed as librarians by the University of Washington Libraries.

The policy, adopted in May 2017, was inspired by current University discussions regarding an Open Access Policy for UW faculty as well as the University Libraries mission “to advance intellectual discovery and enrich the quality of life by connecting people with knowledge.”

UW Librarians will deposit the final, accepted, post-peer-reviewed version of their research articles prior to final publisher formatting (“Accepted Author Manuscript” or “Author’s Final Version”) in the University’s institutional repository, ResearchWorks Archive. The Policy does not restrict where authors can or should publish, nor require anyone to pay article processing charges (APCs).

Open Access (OA) refers to scholarly literature which is digital, online, free of charge to the reader, and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works. Authors retain distribution rights and it aids in preservation of the scholarly record. Traditional publishing models rely on paywalls that give access to information to those who can pay, rather than those who have an interest or need.

The system of scholarly publishing is in a state of rapid flux and evolution, driven by new information technologies, low marginal costs of online distribution, and changing reader expectations. Over the past decade, authors have found new and creative ways of disseminating their scholarly work. Open Access publishing has become central to advancing the interests of researchers, scholars, students, businesses, the public and librarians.

Increasingly, organizations that support research — from public and private research funders to institutions of higher education — are implementing policies that require authors to make the published results of their research openly accessible to and fully usable by the public.

Questions about the ALUW Open Access Policy should be directed to: Gordon J. Aamot, director, Scholarly Communication & Publishing, University of Washington Libraries.

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