On “OA Statement of Commitment for Librarians, Archivists, and PEA”

On “OA Statement of Commitment for Librarians, Archivists, and PEA”

The University of Victoria’s 2012 “OA Statement of Commitment for Librarians, Archivists, and PEA” is the closest that UVic gets to an official, documented position on open access (OA). Of course, a “statement of commitment” is not a policy nor a mandate. Rather, it is an articulation of goodwill and a recognition of the importance of open access to research and cultural material.

It is interesting to note that this statement of commitment — the only of its kind from UVic — has been made by the library only. I could find no analog for faculty, academic staff, students, or admin. It is not surprising that the library has acknowledged their commitment to open access before other on-campus groups; as cultural stewards, librarians around the world are often prominent in the open access debate. It is surprising, however, that a statement released 5 years ago has not been picked up by other university community groups, especially when formalization of open access policy and practices would be in their own best interest (as well as, of course, the best interest of the larger community).

I’m curious to see whether the announcement of an official university OA policy at one of UVic’s regional neighbours, Simon Fraser University, will have any effect on UVic policy, moving forward. SFU’s Open Access Policy was approved by their Senate and released in January 2017. SFU’s policy commits “university authors” to OA practices. There is a pragmatic element as well: “To satisfy the policy requirement in one easy step, SFU researchers can provide an electronic copy of the finalized text of their published articles to the Simon Fraser University Library. The Library will make the articles available to the public, taking into consideration requirements for access delay” (n.p.). This is a critical step forward for open access in BC. How will it ripple out from SFU?


Works cited

Simon Fraser University. 2017. “SFU Open Access Policy.” Simon Fraser University. http://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/publish/scholarly-publishing/open-access-policy

University of Victoria. 2012. “OA Statement of Commitment for Librarians, Archivists and PEA.” University of Victoria. http://www.uvic.ca/library/featured/scholcomm/oa/oa_mandates/uviclibrarians.php

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