Log In
  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.81
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
AC-11: Open Access to Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Michael Maciel
Senior Data Analyst
Texas A&M University Libraries
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

How many of the institution’s research-producing divisions are covered by a published open access policy that ensures that versions of future scholarly articles by faculty and staff are deposited in a designated open access repository? (All, Some or None):
All

Which of the following best describes the open access policy? (Mandatory or Voluntary):
Voluntary (strictly opt-in)

Does the institution provide financial incentives to support faculty members with article processing and other open access publication charges?:
Yes

A brief description of the open access policy, including the date adopted, any incentives or supports provided, and the repository(ies) used:

The Texas A&M University Libraries is charged with maintaining the University’s Open Access Policy. Within the Libraries it is the responsibility of the Office of Scholarly Communication to report to and communicate with the University’s Faculty Senate.

The Libraries’ working Open Access Policy is:

The Texas A&M University Libraries “is an active advocate of open access, believing that open access can help address both the price barriers and the permission barriers that undermine global access to the products of Texas A&M University’s scholarly and creative work, as well as helping alleviate the serious issue of providing Texas A&M scholars access to the world’s scholarly literature due to rising subscription costs. Our Libraries’ programs seek to provide the tools and services that remove barriers to scholars publishing their scholarship as open access..”

The University’s institutional repository, called OAKTrust (established in 2013), is charged with collecting, preserving and distributing “the scholarly output of the University, including scholarly articles and books, electronic theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, technical reports, digitized library collections, and data sets.”

OAKTrust, in addition to providing an online archive also provides “a set of services that a university offers to members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members.”

OAKTrust is in fact made up of two databases – the archival database/repository and another that provides a platform that supports both the collection of ongoing research data and the facilitation of online collaboration between research entities and/or individuals.

The Libraries’ support for Open Access seeks to provide the following benefits to the University:

•Increased Visibility:
Open access literature is much more accessible than print-only publications. For researchers, the barriers to access of literature, such as subscription costs and inconveniences associated with the traditional model, are removed. As more scholarly information is made freely available, scholars are relying much more on materials that they can find and retrieve online. Authors must consider how their research will potentially be found and used as they plan for future publications.

•Increased Impact:
The obvious result of higher visibility of open access literature is that open access leads to increased impact and a greater citation rate. Multiple studies conducted over the last several years show that open access materials are cited at a higher rate than articles that are published traditionally.

•Reduced cost:
For libraries, open access relieves the burden associated with the ever-increasing cost of serials subscriptions. Many academic libraries, including those at the University of Michigan, Stanford University, and Cornell University, are experiencing subscription costs that are growing faster than their purchasing budgets. If a researcher publishes with a traditional print-only publication, their colleagues at these universities may have no access to their writing.

The Libraries’ provide financial support and incentives for Open Access in general and specifically the University’s institutional repository, OakTrust, and the OA Textbook project:

•OAKFund:
The Open Access to Knowledge Fund (OAKFund) at Texas A&M University underwrites publication charges for scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and books published in fully Open Access publications. For the 2016/2017 fiscal year, the University Libraries is providing $85,000 to faculty and full-time researchers. This is a 70% increase from funds provided 3 years ago. Each year 100% of the funds are expended. In addition, for the first time, the Libraries are working toward providing funding for graduate students.

•PeerJ Memberships:
OAKFund also offers a limited number of PeerJ Lifetime Publication Plans. Eligible authors must have an article accepted for publication in PeerJ. Unlike a one-time payment of publication charges, PeerJ membership lasts a lifetime, allowing an author to publish one article per year. Even if eligible authors leave Texas A&M University, future publications accepted in PeerJ will be free of charge.

•BioMed Central APC Discount:
BioMed Central publishes 272 peer-reviewed open access journals. Texas A&M University is a Supporter Member which means that when you publish in any BioMed Central journal you will receive a 15% discount on the article-processing charge. The discount is automatically applied when BMC sends the invoice for the Author Processing Charge (APC).

•Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Gold-for-Gold OA Vouchers:
As a subscriber to Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) journals, Texas A&M University Libraries receives a type of "rebate" for our investment in the form of open access vouchers. These vouchers may be used by Texas A&M authors to publish their papers in RSC journals free of charge, as a Gold Open Access (OA) article, without paying the normal Article Publication Fee (APF).

•OA Textbooks:
In collaboration with the Open Textbook Library Initiative at the University of Minnesota (http://open.umn.edu), this emerging project seeks to recruit faculty to attend local workshops that guide the review of available OA textbooks and convince the instructors to adopt an OA textbook for their class.

•OA Textbook Recognition Awards:
In an effort to recognize effective applications of OA textbooks the Libraries provides, in partnership with the University, two awards to teaching faculty:
- SGA Teaching Awards
- OA Adoption Libraries Awards

(Source: Texas A&M University Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communications, https://library.tamu.edu/services/scholarly_communication/)


A copy of the institution's open access policy:
---

The institution's open access policy:

The Texas A&M University Libraries is charged with maintaining the University’s Open Access Policy. Within the Libraries it is the responsibility of the Office of Scholarly Communication to report to and communicate with the University’s Faculty Senate.

The University Libraries policy and services will address the following areas:

“Texas A&M library is an active advocate of open access, believing that open access can help address both the price barriers and the permission barriers that undermine global access to the products of Texas A&M University’s scholarly and creative work, as well as helping alleviate the serious issue of providing Texas A&M scholars access to the world’s scholarly literature due to rising subscription costs. Our Libraries’ programs seek to provide the tools and services that remove barriers to scholars publishing their scholarship as open access.”

COMPACT FOR OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING EQUITY
The University Libraries will support Texas A&M University’s commitment to the Compact (http://www.oacompact.org/)

SCHOLARLY REPUTATION & IMPACT
The University Libraries will provide “tools and services to help enhance visibility of faculty research, enrich scholarly identity, and support the discovery of potential collaborators”

OPEN ACCESS (OA) INITIATIVES
The Libraries will provide “tools and services that remove barriers [such as price and permissions] to scholars publishing their work as open access, as well as providing TAMU scholars access to the world’s scholarly literature.”

COPYRIGHT & FAIR USE
Access and use to materials “that were produced by others in [a faculty’s field of study], research, creative pursuits, and service activities” as well as provide support to help scholars comply with Copyright and Fair Use laws.

DIGITAL SCHOLARSHIP & PUBLISHING
The University Libraries will support efforts to “advance TAMU [Texas A&M University] scholarship and its societal impact through digital publishing and networking techniques, as well as meeting federal mandates for public access to research” and data management.

“Digital and networking technologies are prompting significant change and opportunity in the practices of scholars, particularly as they collaborate, the publication of their scholarship, and the scholarly communications process.”

(Source: Texas A&M University Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communications, https://library.tamu.edu/services/scholarly_communication/)


The website URL where the open access repository is available:
Estimated percentage of scholarly articles published annually by the institution’s faculty and staff that are deposited in a designated open access repository (0-100):
---

A brief description of how the institution’s library(ies) support open access to research:

OAKTRUST
The University Libraries Digital Repository (OAKTrust) “is an open access digital repository for collecting, preserving, and distributing the scholarly output of the Texas A&M University and its partners. It provides increased access to the products of the University's research and scholarship endeavors, fosters the preservation of these digital works for future generations, promotes increasingly rapid advances in scholarly communication, and helps deepen community understanding of the value of higher education.”

TEXAS DIGITAL LIBRARIES
Texas A&M University is a founding partner of Texas based institutional repositories from 22 “small and large colleges, public and private universities, and academic medical centers from every region of Texas.”

OAKSEARCH
This is a program to enable access to large collections of open access materials (e.g. books, journals and other scholarly documents) without having to pass through authentication protocols – thus enabling anyone to view and use the open access information resources.

OAKFUND
“The Open Access to Knowledge Fund (OAKFund) at Texas A&M University underwrites publication charges for scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and books published in fully Open Access publications.”

OATEXTBOOKS
“In collaboration with the Open Textbook Library Initiative at the University of Minnesota (http://open.umn.edu), The Texas A&M University Libraries seeks to recruit faculty to attend local workshops that guide the review of available OA textbooks and convince the instructors to adopt an OA textbook for their class. The workshops have been designed” and partnerships are being developed.

SCHOLARY REPUTATION & IMPACT
The University Libraries provides three tools and services to provide visibility of the Texas A&M University’s faculty and scholarly impact. This includes:
• The use of ORCID (Open Researchers and Contributor ID), a standard and service, “to help researchers establish and maintain scholarly identity”
• The use of VIVO, which “is a part of the growing suite of web-based tools and services are being developed that can enhance the visibility of faculty research, enrich their scholarly identity, and support the discovery of potential collaborators. These projects rely on creating unique identifiers for scholars, harvesting the metadata associated with their scholarly work, developing semantic web applications and databases, and providing campus outreach and training.”
• Impact Metrics which “is an emerging project that seeks to identify new and useful measures of scholarly reputation” that will review “effect of open access on citation rates” as well as “support faculty going up for Promotion & Tenure (P&T).”
• Increase grant competitiveness especially those award through the NSF

RESEARCH DATA MANAGEMENT
Training, support and hosting of data sets to meet funding agency requirements.

SCHOLARY COMMUNICATIONS FACULTY AWARDS
“The Student Government Association (SGA) at Texas A&M University has partnered with the University Libraries to establish two annual awards for faculty members who go above and beyond in adopting and demonstrating exemplary usage of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in their classrooms or taking active roles in the creation or dissemination of these open access materials. These awards seek to recognize faculty who promote or contribute to a culture of utilizing free academic resources and knowledge sharing in order to lessen the financial burden on students, and mitigate the overall cost of receiving an education.

• SGA Open Educator Award
Awarded to faculty members who demonstrate exemplary usage of open access materials in their own classrooms. Examples of such use include but are not limited to: utilizing free textbooks, providing free electronic notes or textbook alternatives, using/incorporating free educational resources/materials in courses, etc.
• SGA Open Education Champion Award
Awarded to a faculty member who demonstrates the most compelling and significant positive impact in areas related to open educational resources, with additional weight given to action that contribute to or use Texas A&M’s OAKTrust institutional repository. Examples include but are not limited to: (1) Public sharing of research, works, projects, course notes, or other educational resources in OAKTrust or elsewhere; (2) championing the goal of making use of free educational resources beyond the faculty member’s own classroom. For more information about depositing your work in OAKTrust.”

(Source: Texas A&M University Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communications, https://library.tamu.edu/services/scholarly_communication/)


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.