Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.15
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2019
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 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. The Texas A&M University 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 is called OAKTrust and was established in 2013. The Open Access policy was adopted and presented in 2014 to the University’s leadership and faculty.

The Libraries’ support for Open Access program seeks to provide the following benefits to the University:
• Increased visibility of research and information resources
• Increased discoverability and accessibility to information resources
• Increased scholarly reputation of the University’s researchers, faculty, and graduate students
• Increased impact
• Reduced cost
• Increased success to compete for and win grants

The OAKFund was established in 2015 by the Libraries to encourage participation in the OAKTrust repository as well as help mitigate publication costs. In FY2016/2017 $85K was offered. This funding has continued to increase and for the recent FY2018/2019 budget included $110K in dedicated funding for the program. This was an increase of 29%. Much of this increase was due to the expanding the eligibility to participate to, in addition to faculty, graduate students.

When the Libraries first began developing and offering the OAKTrust Repository (and support funding) the program was supported only by the Libraries Scholarly Communications faculty and staff. Beginning in late 2017 training on the program and promoting of it was extended to all of the Libraries’ Subject Specialists increasing awareness, participation, and support. This training and outreach program is currently under review to identify best practices and standardize outreach/support.

(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:
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The institution's open access policy:

The Texas A&M University Libraries (Libraries) is charged with maintaining the University’s Open Access Policy. Within the Libraries, it is the Office of Scholarly Communication’s responsibility to manage the Open Access Policy as well as 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, 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, DISCOVERABILITY, and ACCESSIBILITY
Open access literature has the potential to be much more accessible than print-only or subscription-based publications. For researchers, the Open Access model removes the barriers, such as subscription costs, to accessing literature, and the inconveniences associated with this traditional model. As more scholarly information is made freely available, scholars are relying much more on materials that they can find and retrieve online. Authors, with the possibilities of alternative accessibility, must consider how their research can be found and used.

INCREASED IMPACT
The obvious result of higher visibility of open access literature is that open access leads to increased impact and a greater citation rates. 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. Comparing data from 2015 and 2019, the CPI rate of inflation increased 6.9% while the serials rate of inflation during that same 5 year period increased 24.1%. That is, serial inflation increased at a rate 3.5 times greater than CPI inflation. Between 1998 and 2018 serials costs have increased 166%. Many academic libraries are seeing subscription costs increase greater than their purchasing budgets. This is further exacerbated by decreasing purchasing budgets. The result is that due to smaller budgets and rising costs many university libraries are canceling vital information resources. A library’s reliance on the current subscription based serials model is no longer sustainable.

To further mitigate rising resource costs the Libraries’ provide financial support and incentives for Open Access in general and specifically the University’s OakTrust institutional repository, and the OA Textbook project:

•OAKFund:
The OAKFund was established in 2015 by the Libraries to encourage participation in the OAKTrust repository as well as help mitigate publication costs. In FY2016/2017 $85K was offered. This funding has continued to increase and for the recent FY2018/2019 budget included $110K in dedicated funding for the program. This was an increase of 29%. Much of this increase was due to expanding the eligibility to participate to graduate students, in addition to faculty.

•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:
The Libraries since 2017/2018 has collaborated with the University of Minnesota on an Open Textbook Library Initiative (http://open.umn.edu). Last year, when the program first began at Texas A&M, 3,378 students in 7 classes used these free resources. This resulted in a savings of $595K in expenses these students would otherwise have had to spend. In its second year, 2018/2019 grew significantly. Fifteen classes were added to the program. 14,128 students saw savings of $1,764K – a 196% reduction in textbook burden to the University’s students. A large reason for this success was that while the program began in the Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communications, involvement of the Libraries’ Subject Specialists led to better and more aggressive identification of classes that could benefit from the Initiative. Subject Specialist receive training on the Initiative and how to promote it. The result is that open access textbooks and custom course packs expanded from STEM courses to the Social Sciences. The program is expected to expand, in the next 2-3 years, within these fields of study as well as cross into other disciplines.

•OA Textbook Recognition Awards:
In an effort to recognize effective applications of OA textbooks the Libraries, in conjunction with the University, offers open access textbook awards and incentives (stipends) to instructional faculty. In 2017/2018 five awards, at $1,500 each, $7,500 total, were issued. In 2018/2019 twelve $1,500 stipends, totaling $18,000, were awarded.

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

INCREASED SUCCESS TO COMPETE FOR and WIN GRANTS
Many grant-giving organizations, including the NSF and NIH, require that pre-publications and data sets be housed in open access databases. OAKTrust provides the database and needed support needed to meet these grant prerequisites. The Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communications not only offers the database (OAKTrust) to house these materials, but the software and expertise to support it. In late 2017/2018 a Data Management Librarian was added to the department to promote and curate the growing datasets that needed to be maintained to meet NSF and NIH guidelines.


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):
29

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

The program that is showing to have the greatest impact on the Libraries’ efforts to support open access is the organizational change that moved the promotion of the Libraries’ open access from the Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communication to the Libraries’ Subject Specialists. Instead of 5 librarians promoting open access there will be 51 librarians. Further, because the Subject Specialists are assigned specific departments, or fields of study, they can address the specific needs of their constituents. In its nascent state this program has begun with providing training on not only techniques to promote the resource but also on the technical aspects of the hardware and software that supports the Libraries open access efforts. The shifting of the responsibility to promote open access to the Subject Specialists is already showing results. In its first year four legacy print collections that were held in the University’s departments and institutes have been identified. These were collections that, because they were held at the departmental/institute level, were never discoverable outside the groups and had suffered degradation from poor curation of the materials. The Libraries has begun cataloging (for discovery), and digitizing (for preservation) these materials. The number of items that the University’s faculty and researchers submit to the OAKTrust Repository is expected to increase in the 2019/2020 and thus increase institutional participation. Finally, as the numbers demonstrate, participation in the Open Access Textbook Initiative continues to grow.

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 the Texas Digital Libraries (TDL). The TDL is a Texas- based collaboration of 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.” The OAKFund was established in 2015 by the Libraries to encourage participation in the OAKTrust repository as well as help mitigate publication costs. In FY2016/2017 $85K was offered. This funding has continued to increase and for the recent FY2018/2019 budget included $110K in dedicated funding for the program. This was an increase of 29%. Much of this increase was due to the expanding the eligibility to participate to, in addition to faculty, graduate students.

In addition to the OAKFund the Libraries participates in other programs to reduce/eliminate publication costs. These programs include: 1) PeerJ Lifetime Memberships, 2) BioMed Central APC Discount, and 3) Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Gold-for-Gold OA Vouchers.

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 instructional faculty to utilize, with the courses they teach, open access text books and resources as well as develop customized course packs that are built on open access materials.” Stipends are offered to instructional faculty to incentivize their interest and participation in the University’s Open Access Textbook Initiative. The program begin the 2017/2018 school term. When the program began 3,378 students in 7 classes used these free resources. This resulted in a savings of $595K in expenses these students would otherwise have had to spend. In its second year, 2018/2019 grew significantly. Fifteen classes were added to the program. 14,128 students saw savings of $1,764K – a 196% reduction in textbook burden to the University’s students.

OASES AWARDS
To incentivize participation in the Libraries’ Open Textbook Library Initiative $1,500 Stipends are awarded to instructional faculty that participate in the Initiative. Funding for the awards comes from both the Libraries and University. In 2017/2018 five awards, at $1,500 each, $7,500 total, were issued. In 2018/2019 twelve $1,500 stipends, totaling $18,000, were awarded.

SCHOLARY REPUTATION & IMPACT
The University Libraries provides numerous tools and services to provide visibility of the Texas A&M University’s faculty and scholarly impact. These includes
• The use of Scholars@TAMU which is “a profile system that hosts searchable expertise for faculty and TAMU organizations by gathering data from institution-leave/enterprise systems, publicly available research data (e.g. grants and publications), and other authoritative sources. The data is compiled into a profile that you can be edited to best represent a faculty member’s scholarship and expertise. This is achieved through the use of ORCID and VIVO.
• 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 awarded through the NSF and the NIH.

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:
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Estimated percentage of scholarly articles published annually by the institution's faculty and staff that are deposited in a designated repository. This data field is new for this year's STAR's report and a system needs to be put in place to calculate this percentage. The percentage will not be available in this reporting cycle but steps are now in place to gather and report in subsequent STAR's reports.

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.