Columbia University Commits to Open-Access Publication Compact


NEW YORK, December 11, 2009 – Columbia University has joined several leading institutions of higher learning in a commitment to a Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity. Other signatories to the compact are Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California at Berkeley.

The compact commits signatories to the timely establishment of mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication fees for open access journal articles authored by researchers without alternative funding. The effort around the compact arose as a result of discussions within the university community about providing sustainable, efficient, and effective business models for journal publishing. "The growth of this new strategy for support for high quality scholarly communication in the expanding number of open access journals requires our participation and support," said Jim Neal, Columbia’s Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian.

In today’s scholarly publishing environment, financial strain is motivating libraries to seek means other than traditional subscription journals for providing access to intellectual content. OA journals offer such an alternative, while providing the same services common to scholarly journals such as management of the peer-review process, filtering, production, and distribution.

Following from the compact commitment, Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is establishing a fund to help support Columbia faculty, staff, and students who wish to publish in OA journals. The Libraries are currently formulating policy and eligibility requirements for the fund, which will be administered by the Scholarly Communication Program, based at the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS). CDRS currently offers free and for-cost publishing services for Columbia-based scholarly journals, and specializes in support for open access publications.

The Scholarly Communication Program explores effective uses of digital technology for sharing new knowledge. The Program, based at the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) within Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, highlights innovative approaches to communicating scholarly work and examines related debates over policy and practice, particularly in the context of global research. More information is available online at http://scholcomm.columbia.edu.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb is the gateway to its services and resources.

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12/11/09 DAP