In an effort to respond to faculty requests for assistance and to support open access publishing by West Virginia University authors, the West Virginia University Libraries established a pilot program for an Open Access Author Fund (OAAF) in August 2016. The fund has now been operational through two academic years.
WVU Libraries used $30,000 from its operations budget to establish the fund. A webpage was designed by the library web team to outline the criteria and to link to an application form. The primary criteria were that the journals needed to be totally open access, not a hybrid; should be listed in DOAJ or OASPA, and indexed in a scholarly database.
The fund was promoted at New Faculty Orientation and by outreach to liaison faculty members and graduate student classes. Two librarians vetted the journals in the applications to ensure that they met the criteria, and a committee consisting of faculty from across campus approved all applications. Article processing charges for approved applications were paid directly to the publisher.
Over 2 years, 61 requests were received and 49 were funded. Requests were received from a variety of STEM disciplines, with Health Sciences representing 33% of the total. Opportunities for educating users were found in regard to hybrid and predatory journals, and the process was improved with the addition of a preliminary checklist to be completed ahead of the application. Usage and viewing statistics were phenomenal for the funded articles from the journal’s websites, especially when compared to usage via subscription databases.
The OAAF has proven to be a popular service offered by the Libraries. In addition to increased exposure for WVU authors, outcomes include a new library-sponsored workshop on open access publishing and plans to pursue more money for the OAAF through the Provost or Research Offices of the university.
Digital Commons Citation
Arnold, Susan, "Opening the Door to Open Access: Successes and Lessons Learned with an Open Access Author Fund Pilot Program" (2018). Faculty & Staff Scholarship. 2220.