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Open Access: Emory Open Access Policy

Impact of the OA Policy

- The OA Policy will not increase the workload demands on faculty members.  Faculty members are free to choose whether to deposit articles in the repository.

- The OA Policy allows the Libraries to harvest Emory faculty authored articles in existing open access repositories while managing copyright.

- The implementation of the OA Policy will be faculty-centric, with faculty advisors giving input throughout the implementation process.

- The OA Policy is intended to serve faculty interests by promoting greater reach and impact for articles, while not requiring additional workload demands.

- The OA Policy continues to apply only to scholarly articles, for which faculty typically do not receive remuneration from the publisher.  It does not apply to books, creative works (photographs, music, film, etc.), newspapers, software, etc.

- An OA repository at Emory will provide opportunities to build community, highlight the work of faculty, and quantify the contribution of faculty scholarship.

Emory Open Access Policy

The following Open Access Policy was unanimously approved by Faculty Council at the March 15, 2011 meeting.  This text was revised based on faculty feedback and through Faculty Council discussions.

Open Access Policy Text

The Faculty of Emory University is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible.  In addition to the public benefit of such dissemination, this policy is intended to serve faculty interests by promoting greater reach and impact for articles, assisting authors' retention of distribution rights, and ensuring preservation.

In keeping with these commitments, the Faculty calls upon Emory University, through its Libraries, to create an Open Access repository of faculty authored scholarly articles.[1]  Each faculty member[2] grants to Emory University permission to capture and make available his or her scholarly articles the author has chosen to distribute as Open Access and to reproduce and distribute those articles for the purpose of open dissemination.  In legal terms, each Faculty member grants to Emory University a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles the author has chosen to distribute as Open Access, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit.  The Emory Faculty author remains the copyright owner unless that author chooses to transfer the copyright to a publisher.

Scholarly articles authored or co-authored while anyone is a member of the Faculty would be eligible for deposit in the repository unless the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement, such as transferring all copyrights to a publisher.  Emory Faculty may embargo scholarly articles from distribution for a specified period of time if a publishing agreement made by the Faculty member is determined to be incompatible with immediate distribution in Emory's repository.

To assist the University in distributing the scholarly articles, each Faculty member may choose to provide an electronic copy of the final author's version of the article at no charge to the Libraries in an appropriate format (such as PDF) specified by the Libraries.  The Libraries may make the article available to the public in Emory's Open Access repository.  In cases where an embargo period has been specified, the article may be archived in an Emory repository without open access for the period of the embargo, or a complete citation for the article may be submitted when deposit in the repository is incompatible with an assignment made by the faculty member.

This policy applies to scholarly articles for which the faculty author is copyright as defined in Emory's Intellectual Property Policy (Policy 7.6).  Any question as to whether a faculty member is the copyright owner of a scholarly article shall be resolved as provided in Emory's Intellectual Property Policy.

The Faculty calls upon the Library Policy Committee, the Provost's Office and the Libraries, in collaboration with the Faculty Council, to develop and monitor an implementation plan for this policy.  The LPC and LIbrary, in consultation with the Provost's Office, will submit annual reports to Faculty Council for the first three years of the policy implementation.  The policy and service model will be reviewed after three years and a recommendation on revisions to the policy presented to the Faculty Council.

[1] A scholarly article is defined here as in the Budapest Open Access Initiative, that which scholars give to the world without expectation of payment.  This encompasses peer-reviewed journal articles, and any unreviewed preprints which they may wish to put online.  (

[2] For the purposes of this policy, a Faculty member is a person employed at Emory under the Faculty Handbook with either a continuous or limited appointment.  (http://www.emory.edy/PROVOST/documents/facultydevelopment/Faculty_Handbook.pdf)

Prologue for Emory's Open Access Policy

The enduring goal of a university is to create and disseminate knowledge.  Emory’s vision is to become

A destination university internationally recognized as an inquiry-driven, ethically engaged, and diverse community, whose members work collaboratively for positive transformation in the world through courageous leadership in teaching, research, scholarship, health care, and social action.” 

-- Emory Strategic Plan, Where Courageous Inquiry Leads: 2005-2015 

An approach to create positive transformation through scholarship is for Emory faculty to make their research available as Open Access. By making Emory faculty scholarship freely accessible everywhere, we raise the visibility of this work, and we further the intellectual community here at Emory. In this context, an Open Access Policy is a rights-retention instrument ensuring that members of the University Community may choose to post works of scholarship that are accessible to the world without charge. An Open Access Repository at Emory provides the mechanism and infrastructure to assure permanency and free access to these works.

The Library Policy Committee (LPC) approached the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) to facilitate discussing Open Access within the Emory community.  In April 2009, the Emory Faculty Council approved the request for a series of Open Access Conversations with the faculty, with the goal of developing an Open Access Policy for Emory.  The LPC and CFDE held these conversations in the 09/10 academic year. 

The LPC and CFDE met with 13 key faculty groups from all colleges and schools of the university and spoke with more than 400 faculty members. An Open Access webpage for Emory at brought additional transparency to the process.  The Spring 2010 issue of Academic Exchange ( focused on Open Access and digital publishing.  The first draft of the OA Policy was reviewed and discussed by Faculty Council in November 2010 and February 2011. 

Based on the feedback from faculty during these Open Access Conversations, there is clearly support for the concept of Open Access to faculty articles, although questions were expressed over the resulting workload burden for faculty members and details of implementation.  In response to these questions, the Library Policy Committee submits the attached revised Open Access Policy which seeks to serve the faculty’s interest by allowing articles to receive open distribution, simplifying the author’s retention of distribution rights, and aiding preservation, without adding to the workload of faculty members.  The revised Open Access Policy will continue to serve as a mechanism for Emory to preserve the work of Emory scholars in a permanent digital repository and provide access to the work to anyone who seeks it.


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