Campus-based Open-access Publishing Funds: A Practical Guide to Design and Implementation
The decision to launch an Open-access Fund is a complex one for many reasons. Establishing a clear understanding of your Fund’s goals, the policies that will govern it, how it will be administered, and what tools can be used to evaluate the Fund’s results all involve careful deliberation and discussion. The relative novelty of the category, combined with demographic, philosophical, and political differences among the institutions that have established Open-access Funds to date combine to create an environment in which there are not yet transferable templates for the simple and straightforward creation of Funds. As a result, it may be challenging for those contemplating the launch of an Open-access Fund to move ahead with absolute confidence and clarity. And yet, despite this uncertainty, more than a dozen institutions (as of this writing) have launched Open-access Funds. This is a concept that clearly intrigues some within the scholarly communication community. As such, it bears further consideration and analysis.
This guide is not an advocacy document promoting the launch of Open-access Funds. Rather, it is predicated on an awareness that institutions are curious about these Funds. They are seeking to better understand why Funds are being launched, what decisions go into their creation, and how they are being managed. They would like to know what lessons have been learned by those institutions that have already created Open-access Funds. SPARC believes that this guide can help educate those eager to learn more about Open-access Funds so that, should they choose to proceed, they can do so with their best foot forward.
This document should be viewed within the context of a broader suite of SPARC materials on Open-access Funds. The SPARC Open-access Funds resource page http://www.arl.org/sparc/openaccess/funds/ contains a wealth of background information, practical resources, policy guidelines, and hard data documenting Open-access Fund results to date. It contains information useful to authors, administrators, librarians, and publishers. Shortly, SPARC will also produce a white paper that analyzes the role of Open-access Funds, provides objective benchmarks of their efficacy within and across institutions, and contemplates their ability to impact scholarly communication.