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Open Access Publishing & Policy: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a brief summary of Bucknell's Open Access Policy?

Bucknell's Open Access Policy: 

  • Makes open access the default position for peer-reviewed articles published by Bucknell University faculty members.
  • Grants Bucknell University a license to make these articles available via an online institutional repository (i.e. Bucknell Digital Commons).
  • Allows faculty members to opt out of the policy at any time and for any reason.Makes no changes to the policy that Bucknell faculty members hold the copyright to their scholarly works.
  • Does not make any recommendation regarding the publishing venue for faculty members' articles.
  • Does not create any sanctions or penalties for failing to comply with the policy.

Why is a blanket open access policy necessary?

An open access policy that has been endorsed by a faculty governing body helps provide faculty members with a collective bargaining mechanism to retain more of their copyrights when negotiating with publishers.  While about 50-60% of publishers already allow authors to provide their work to an institutional repository in their standard author's agreements, most other publishers will make exceptions for scholars who are subject to an institutional policy.  A faculty-wide license also makes the administration of the policy easier, as it allows the institutional repository to collect materials without obtaining a separate licensing agreement for each item.     

What is covered by the open access policy?

Bucknell's open access policy applies only to peer-reviewed journal articles and peer-reviewed scholarship published in other discipline-appropriate formats (as determined by the faculty member).  The policy does not cover monographs, book chapters, essays in edited works, artistic works, conference proceedings, book reviews, or any work for which royalties may be received.  However, if a faculty member wishes to submit these materials, they will also be accepted by the institutional repository.

Does the open access policy require me to publish in specific journals?

No.  The open access policy does not require faculty members to publish in any particular venue.  Faculty members can continue to publish in any journal that they choose.  

Does the open access policy change peer review?

No.  Open access does not change the peer review process, and all serious advocates for open access emphasize the importance and value of peer review.

Does open access affect my copyright?

Open access is fully compatible with current copyright laws.  Open access does not change the principles of copyright, only how the rights are allocated. By following this policy, Bucknell faculty members retain more rights to their publications, and therefore more control over how these publications are used.  

As discussed in Bucknell's intellectual property policy, Bucknell faculty members hold the copyright on scholarly articles.  This policy makes no changes to that practice.  The open access policy does not transfer any part of faculty members' copyright to the university but rather licenses Bucknell University to exercise copyright for a specific purpose (i.e. making materials available in the repository).

Does depositing an article change what I can do with it later?

No.  The license granted to Bucknell is non-exclusive and does not place any limits on a faculty member's future use of the materials deposited.

Can I opt out of the open access policy?

Yes.  A Bucknell University faculty member may opt out of the policy for an individual publication for any reason. If a faculty member chooses to opt out, it is requested that he/she still provide bibliographic information for the article within 30 days of publication date to the institutional repository.

How does the institutional repository deposit process work?  

Within 30 days of publication, the author should supply an electronic copy of the article and bibliographic information via Bucknell Digital Commons's  web submission form.  Submission should take less than 10 minutes.  After submission, a member of the library's staff will verify the information provided and confirm that the submission conforms with copyright law and any applicable publisher policies.  The article will then be made available in the institutional repository.  If required, the institutional repository has the ability to embargo content for a period of time.

What happens to articles deposited in the repository if I leave Bucknell?  

Because one of the goals of the institutional repository is the preservation of scholarly materials, articles deposited in the repository will continue to be maintained and made publicly available after a faculty member leaves or retires from the University.  Since the license granted to Bucknell is non-exclusive, a former faculty member would be free to deposit a copy of his/her materials in another institution's repository (or anywhere else he/she chooses).

What if I have already posted the article in another repository?

If an article is already posted in an open access repository (e.g. PubMed Central, arXiv, or the Social Science Research Network), the author is asked to provide full bibliographic information, an abstract, repository URL, and publisher URL to Bucknell's institutional repository within 30 days of publication.