support to faculty members poised to publish in OA journals, and establishes a dialogue between an institution and its authors to better assess their specific interests and concerns, and to direct financial resources appropriately. SPARC has recently taken a number of visible steps to support further exploration of the open-access fund model. These activities include compiling data from every North American university with a fund and rendering those data accessible for further analysis creating a practical guide for institutions evaluating the implementation of an OA fund and publishing an online clearinghouse that includes frequently asked questions, case studies, links to further reading, and a variety of other tools to facilitate greater understanding and evaluation of open-access funds.3 In the event that an institution decides to pursue an open-access fund, SPARC recommends taking a close look at the experiences of other institutions that have already proceeded down this path. It was in this spirit that SPARC created “Campus-Based Open-Access Publishing Funds: A Practical Guide to Design and Implementation,” which is freely available under Creative Commons license.4 The issues involved in the creation and management of an open-access fund can be complex. For example, look no further than funding. From where is the money going to come? Will the library support the project out of its general fund? Can dedicated gifts be raised? Will other campus units (e.g., the Office of Research, individual departments) contribute, and, if so, what are their interests and expectations? Another issue is eligibility, both in terms of who within the institution has access to the funds and the types of publications that should be covered. What author charges should the fund cover? Should hybrid journals with open-choice plans be included? Can a journal place any restrictions on article accessibility? Who within the institution will be eligible? Are there any caps on how much the fund will cover per article, per author, or per year? While there may not be a “right” answer to these questions, it is in the best interest of institutions contemplating the creation of an open-access fund to have a full understanding of the range of issues they must address. Different institutions are experimenting with different implementations based on a variety of issues—motivation behind the fund, amount of money available, faculty understanding of OA issues, and so forth. SPARC is sharing these experiences in both quantitative and qualitative ways via its open-access fund resource page. From a quantitative perspective, the nine North American institutions with active funds as of this writing provided a wealth of data about RLI 269 9 Improving Access with Open-Access Publishing Funds ( C O N T I N U E D ) APRIL 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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