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Openness: Scholarship

Understand Funder Mandates

The United States government has taken an interest in Open Data. In 2013, President Obama released an executive order to make government data open and machine-readable. 

This movement has started to reach several government funding agencies as well as many private funders. Thus, scholars have felt the repercussions of the open data movement in two ways:

1) Being required to make their data and/or scholarship open if they get funding from a specific agency (ex. the NIH requires the articles it funds to be made accessible in PubMed Central)

2) Data management plans must be submitted with grant applications in order to receive funding. These often require some explanation of how the data will be maintained and made accessible to tax payers or other communities. 

If you're attempting to submit a Data Management Plan (DMP) or need help finding a repository to make your data open, please set up a consultation. We can help you find resources to verify that you're completing all of the requirements for your DMP. 

Get Started

Here are just a few steps Right to Research suggests for faculty interested in OA:

Whenever you are about to publish your own work, make it openly accessible by publishing in an open-access journal or by posting your article in your institution’s repository.  Doing so will not only help others by allowing them to read and build upon your findings, but it will also help you increase your impact. Start with the following: 

  • Submit your research to open-access journals

  • Deposit your preprints and postprints in an open-access archive

  • Retain your copyrights when you sign publishing agreements

  • Consider launching an OA journal in your area of specialization

  • Serve as editor of an OA journal

  • Educate your professional organizations about Open Access

  • For more ideas, please visit

For an in-depth guide on how to make your work open, visit SPARC’s Author Resources Page.

Find a Disciplinary Repository

If you have retained your copyright, consider submitting a copy of your scholarship to Davidson's Institutional Repository. For a list of discipline-specific repositories, see the Open Access Directory list. 

Understanding your Author Rights

Authors should read their copyright agreements carefully, especially if they are interested in self-archiving. Copyright is a bundle of rights that have traditionally transferred to the publisher. However, as the author, you can work to retain these rights. 

1) Find out what journals' copyright agreements are

2) Consider negotiation tactics and adding an addendum to retain more of your author rights

Ideally, authors would negotiate with the publisher to retain the copyright and all associated rights to their work. The author could still grant the publisher an exclusive license to:

  • Subsequent republication of the work

  • Reformatting of the publication (from print to microfilm or digital formats, for example)

The key issue with this is determining what are the minimum bundle of rights that the publisher needs in order to protect its investment in the publication. This will vary from publisher to publisher. Here is some sample language that can help.

If the you can't keep the copyright and must transfer it, still try to retain some rights. You can negotiate with publishers. Rights you might want to ask about include: 

• The right to make reproductions for use in teaching, scholarship, and research
• The right to borrow portions of the work for use in other works
• The right to make derivative works
• The right to alter the work, add to the work, or update the content of the work
• The right to be informed of any uses, reproductions, or distributions of the work
• The right to perform or display the work
• The right to make oral presentation of the material in any forum
• The right to archive and preserve the work as part of either a personal or institutional initiative, e.g. On your web site or in an institutional repository.
• The copyright in every draft and pre-print version of the work.

The SPARC copyright addendum can be attached to a publishing contract. The addendum reserves to the author the rights that are of greatest importance.

Source:  Cornell University Libraries, published under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 U.S. License, as cited by FSU

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