Open Access Collection Development Policy

Updated: October 2023

The benefits of open access research dissemination are well documented and aligned with FSU's mission to "preserve, expand and disseminate knowledge." FSU's Faculty Senate affirmed its support for open access in February 2016, when it adopted an Open Access Policy by unanimous vote. By supporting the growth of open access models, FSU Libraries hope that FSU researchers will enjoy more opportunities to disseminate their work to a global audience and benefit from the increased readership and exposure that this brings. FSU Libraries also believe that open access to scholarly literature has the potential to benefit the global research enterprise, accelerating the pace of scholarly and scientific discovery, enabling the identification of solutions to otherwise intractable challenges, and establishing a new system of knowledge production that is more equitable and open to all. Finally, open access has the long-term potential to mitigate the unsustainable cost of subscription journals by encouraging scholarly publishers to be more transparent about their costs and pricing practices - an outcome that would be extremely beneficial to research libraries and the communities that they serve.

This document provides strategic direction and guidance regarding the allocation of FSU Libraries' collections funds to support the dissemination of scholarly resources through open access models. For the purposes of this policy, open access resources include scholarly resources that are clearly designated as open resources, which is to say both freely available via the internet and licensed under open resource standards, such as the Creative Commons license suite and the GNU's General Public License.

Evaluation Criteria

The following guidelines should inform selectors and collection managers as to what resources initiatives are to be supported by FSU Libraries.

  1. Digital resources should meet the same criteria that apply to any other library materials. For example, the resource should support or enhance the study, research, and instructional needs of our students and faculty; the resource is of a scholarly nature or is likely to advance scholarly research or university programs.
  2. Although the resources should be within our current collection development guidelines, we may in some cases support the production and acquisition of resources due to the general nature of the OA initiative through which it is being disseminated even if the resources may not precisely match FSU's known curricular and research needs.
    • For example, initiatives that meet some or all of the following criteria may be considered for funding due both to their alignment with FSU Libraries' values and to their promise to make scholarly communication more open and equitable for all:
      • Innovative models for OA not based on article processing charges (APCs) or book processing charges (BPCs), which have been shown to introduce inequities for many scholars;
      • Initiatives that support OA in disciplines that are less likely to have funded researchers;
      • Initiatives spearheaded by university presses or scholarly societies; and
      • Models where the cost is comparable to a similar paywalled product, and/or there is the ability to predict change in cost over time.
  3. The resource/collection should have a sustainable and equitable business model that does not require exorbitant costs on the part of the author or the library.
  4. Library financial support should be based on a cost/resources ratio (fees compared in proportion to the resources received).
  5. The company/organization providing the OA resources should be reputable and follow the OASPA Code of Conduct.
  6. The publisher has a policy governing the preservation of their open access titles.
  7. The publisher provides accurate metadata to ensure ease of discovery.
  8. Publishers should make their content compatible with assistive technologies, or provide support to patrons with print disabilities.
  9. When possible, supported content should be DRM-free. If not available, access to content should be flexible, allowing users to print or download pages to work with offline.

Support of each model should be reassessed on an annual basis to determine if terms of agreement or support (financial or otherwise) are still beneficial to FSU.

Open Publishing Support for FSU Authors

The Libraries may support individual authors' efforts to publish open-access monographs or journal articles. Florida State University's Open Access Publishing Fund provides funds to make it possible for FSU authors to publish in eligible open access (OA) journals and books when no alternative funding is available. The fund supports FSU's community of researchers and scholars, including graduate students and postdocs who may not have other sources of funding. In addition, articles funded through the OA Fund are also made available in DigiNole, FSU's Open Access Research Repository. For eligibility and criteria, please see Open Access Publishing Fund. These criteria are intended to support high quality and ethical open access publishers.

In addition, FSU Libraries are committed to evaluating transformative agreements that seek to "transform the business model underlying scholarly journal publishing, moving from one based on toll access (subscription) to one in which publishers are remunerated a fair price for their open access publishing services" (definition from Coalition S). However, FSU Libraries' position is that, in order for these agreements to be truly transformative, they should:

  1. Introduce no new costs beyond those that academic libraries already pay for read access through subscriptions.
  2. Introduce no renewal increases that outpace the rate of inflation.
  3. Charge no additional publishing fees to FSU authors.
  4. Allow FSU authors to retain copyright in their contributions and disseminate them under open copyright licenses.
  5. Be accompanied by a detailed open access transition plan.
  6. Be accompanied by waiver programs that defray the cost of publishing for researchers and institutions in under-resourced nations.

Access & Discovery

In addition to supporting the dissemination of scholarly resources through open access models, FSU Libraries are also committed to supporting the discovery of these resources. Accordingly, all resources within the scope of this policy shall be findable through FSU Libraries. Entries for serial titles shall be included in the e-journals index, and entries for databases shall be listed in the databases index.

Collaborative Efforts with the FSU Digital Library

The FSU Digital Library provides online access to unique manuscripts, photographs, recordings, rare books, historic maps, and other materials from across the FSU campus libraries and community partners. It provides state-of-the-art infrastructure, management, storage, and access for digital knowledge through FSU Libraries.

In support of the FSU Libraries' strategic plan of advancing the research value of its collections, materials in the FSU Digital Library are freely available as open access resources to all patrons and are also shared into the Digital Public Library of America via the Sunshine State Digital Network to encourage discoverability and reuse by patrons all over the world. Materials are selected for digitization by considering factors such as the importance of the collection to fulfill the research needs of the anticipated users or to complement subject areas for which a gap has been identified. Creation of digital collections may involve the establishment of collaborative arrangements with community partners in which the FSU Digital Library acts as a hosting and discovery agent for resources that are digitized.