Library Fund Enables OA Publishing

A new book, 'New Technologies for Human Rights Law and Practice,' from Dietrich College faculty member Jay Aronson will be published open access, thanks to support from the University Libraries' Article Processing Charge (APC) Fund.

Aronson, Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society in the History Department, co-edited the volume with Molly Land of the University of Connecticut School of Law. The University Libraries hosted a book launch event with remarks from Aronson and Dean of University Libraries Keith Webster on April 26th in the Posner Center.

Open Access (OA) is a publishing model that facilitates discovery, broadens access, and increases use, citation, and impact of scholarly work by making research literature freely available online. OA publishing was also a personal priority for Aronson and Land, who approached their respective institutions for funding for the publication fees associated with OA, also known as an Article Processing Charge (APC).

'Supporting faculty and graduate student researchers to make their research widely accessible is the goal of the APC Fund, said David Scherer, Scholarly Communications and Curation Consultant with the University Libraries. 'By tearing down those traditional paywalls, we can ensure that the work is available to anyone with access to the Internet.'

Aronson's book has OA gold status, which means that the final published version of the work will be freely available on the publisher's website immediately upon publication. It is also available for free download and online reading on Carnegie Mellon's institutional repository, KiltHub.

'The fields of human rights, anthropology, and development studies have often been extractive industries in which academics have taken the stories of marginalized peoples and turned them into inaccessible publications that remain locked up in academic libraries or behind unaffordable internet paywalls,' Aronson said. 'We did not want to reproduce that situation with this edited volume. It would have been highly ironic to publish a book with this message that was inaccessible to the vast majority of the world.'

Open Access publishing is a strategic priority for Carnegie Mellon. In 2007, the CMU Faculty Senate passed an Open Access Resolution strongly encouraging the faculty to provide open access to their work. The University Libraries has offered the APC Fund since 2013, during which time it has supported 106 publications.

'University Libraries has been at the forefront of the OA movement and I knew that they offered some funding for the payment of publication fees associated with articles in OA journals,' Aronson said. 'I only had to make the case once—the Library was amazing about agreeing to support this project. My co-editor's inquiry at the University of Connecticut was received equally well, suggesting that universities see this as a winning proposition in the long-term.'