Southern Illinois University
Board of Trustees
December 11, 2014



This matter seeks approval of the “Open Access Policy for Faculty Scholarship: Research Articles” which was prepared in compliance with Public Act
098-0295, otherwise known as the Open Access to Research Articles Act by which the Illinois General Assembly intends that “to maximize the social and economic benefits of research to the public, the published research articles produced by faculty at public universities should be made as widely available as possible. . . .” Upon approval the Act requires the policy of each of the state’s public universities to be submitted to the Illinois General Assembly by January 1, 2015.

Rationale for Adoption

In compliance with the aforementioned Act, an SIU Task Force on Open Access to Research Articles was established to prepare an “Open Access Policy for Faculty Scholarship.” The Task Force approached its charge by seeking to blend: (1) the overarching public good of free access to research articles generated by faculty at state universities; (2) with the academic freedom of faculty authors and their rights to publish where they wish; (3) and the rights of publishers of scholarly journals to receive fair remuneration for their enhancements to and publication and distribution research articles.

The SIU Task Force members agree to support the concept of open access to research articles produced by faculty members while employed by SIU, whenever possible. Task Force members encourage faculty to seek favorable licensing terms from their publisher and assert their right to place their research articles in the appropriate SIU institutional repository.

Considerations Against Adoption

Comments to the policy were made by representatives of the Association of American Publishers and Elsevier who participated in several of the Task Force meetings by phone and who offered suggested revisions to some sections. The Task Force gave consideration to those recommendations and acted on several. The policy was subsequently presented and explained to the Faculty Senates of both SIUC (including SOM) and SIUE.



BE IT RESOLVED, By the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University in a regular meeting assembled, That:

  • The Open Access Policy for Faculty Scholarship: Research Articles as attached be and is hereby approved for transmittal by the President to the Illinois General Assembly as required by the Act.
  • The President of Southern Illinois University be and is hereby authorized to take whatever action may be required in the execution of this resolution in accordance with established policies and procedures.

I. Policy

Southern Illinois University
Open Access Policy for Faculty Scholarship:  Research Articles

The faculty of Southern Illinois University (SIU) is committed to sharing the intellectual benefits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible, while diminishing barriers to its access.  As a public university, SIU is dedicated to serving the citizens of the state of Illinois and supporting the public good.  In recognition of that commitment and responsibility, the faculty are expected to comply with the following:

  • Prior to any contractual arrangement with a publisher, each faculty member grants permission to SIU to make accepted, peer-reviewed journal manuscripts, of which he or she is the author or co-author, publicly available in the appropriate SIU institutional repository.  In legal terms, the permission granted by each faculty member is a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit. In granting such permission, the SIU faculty author remains the copyright owner.
  • The policy applies to all scholarly peer-reviewed articles authored or co-authored while the person is a member of the faculty, except forarticles published before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the faculty member enters into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement. 
  • Upon submission of a designated form by the faculty member, SIU will waive the license for a particular article or delay access to the article for a specified period of time. It is the responsibility of faculty who have not claimed a waiver to provide an electronic version of the author’s post-peer-reviewed final article to the appropriate university institutional repository within 30 days of publication.  The author is encouraged to provide a link to additional data and other materials related to the research but not included in the published article. SIU will not charge fees for depositing an article in the institutional repository.  

II. Implementation plan

Distribution of Policy

The approved policy will be posted on each campus’ website.  An announcement about the policy will be made and distributed by the provost on each campus.  Open information sessions on the policy will be held at least annually to inform the faculty about the content, intent, and procedures of the policy.

Acceptance of the Policy

A faculty member complies with the terms of the policy in one of two ways:  accepting the language below via a click-through agreement at the time of submission of an article into the institutional repository, or signing a one-time authorization form with the same language.  The language will read:

As a faculty member of SIU, this confirms my grant to SIU of a non-exclusive license with respect to my scholarly articles as set forth in the open access policy adopted by the University, found at [link].

Note that the one-time authorization will not preclude a faculty member from claiming a waiver for any or all of his/her articles.


An online form for waivers will be made available by each campus upon approval of the policy. 

Infrastructure and Management

The institutional repositories of the campuses will store, preserve, and make available the articles covered by this policy. SIUC’s repository has been in operation since 2008 and is found at; SIUE’s repository has been in operation since 2014 and is found at .  Thus, the necessary technological infrastructure has already been established on the two campuses. The SIU School of Medicine will share the SIUC repository.

Upon approval of the policy, each campus will require a repository coordinator(s). The SIU School of Medicine will designate a repository liaison.

The repository coordinators will create the infrastructure necessary for inclusion of articles for each department, center, or other organizational unit.  Coordinators oversee the operation of their repositories. 

Submission of articles may be made by faculty authors or a department designate.  The designate may be a faculty member, staff member, or student.   

Training Sessions

Open training sessions will be offered for faculty and designates on the submission process, as early as possible after the effective date of the policy.  Personal training sessions for designates or faculty will be available by appointment. 

Other Guidance

Each campus will create a website with these elements:

  • Full text of the policy
  • Authorizing legislation
  • FAQ
  • Instructions on compliance
  • Recommended author addendum form
  • Written authorization form
  • Waiver form
  • Contact information

Publisher Notification

A letter describing the policy will be distributed to publishers with which the Libraries have a journal contract.

Implementation Oversight

Implementation and communication of this policy will be the responsibility of the provost in consultation with the library dean and repository coordinator.

The Office of the President will be responsible for interpreting the policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and incorporating into the policy any needed revisions. A system-wide committee/task force shall be convened as needed to review and recommend revisions to the policy.

III. Other Considerations


The Task Force investigated the cost of maintaining a repository.  Options for commercial and locally operated open source products were analyzed.  There is little difference between the total costs of these two options; commercial repository services carry a subscription fee, while open source products require more investment in personnel to support their operation.  Due to staffing issues and the fact that both campuses already have in place repositories via a commercial provider, the Task Force recommends maintaining the repositories via the commercial provider.

The costs for start-up and maintaining this service include the following:

Subscription:  Approximately $30,000-$40,000 per year per campus, increasing at 5% per year
Staffing:  One full-time coordinator at approximately $50,000 per campus
Preservation/Curation, Quality LOCKSS System: $4,000 start-up costs; will incur ongoing costs
Equipment:  Will incur ongoing costs

Potential for Collaboration Among Illinois Public Universities

The Task Force investigated the potential for collaboration in the use and maintenance of repositories, determining that three possibilities exist:  a single, shared repository; multiple repositories but with shared management and technical support; or multiple repositories with the content aggregated via a distinct interface.         

A shared repository between multiple (or indeed all) Illinois higher education institutions faces the following issues:  multiple platforms are in use for existing repositories; there is no existing infrastructure for such a service; it would require significant startup costs and time; there are variable levels of readiness among the institutions; institutions may be faced with potentially inferior service due to reduced control and responsiveness; and there would be less institutional branding.  However, a shared repository offers these advantages:  increased potential use of open source software; the elimination of duplicated technical support; and a single platform/interface for content across institutions.

A shared repository would require a platform change for SIUC and SIUE, because the current commercial provider does not support this type of multisite service.  Such a change is undesirable because (1) permanence of location and document URLs have been an essential component of the repository and (2) the set-up of a shared repository would take time and require considerable effort to migrate existing content.  Further, the cost and availability of local technical support required for an open source platform, which would be necessary for an SIU-wide (or statewide) repository, is problematic.  In addition, a local repository maximizes essential traits for a successful service: responsiveness, branding, flexibility, and control of design and content.  Therefore the Task Force does not recommend the pursuit of a shared repository, either at the state level or within the SIU system, at this time.

While we do not recommend a single statewide repository, at this time, we would be willing to consider the possibility of a statewide open access policy.

Fiscal Feasibility, Benefits, and Drawbacks to Researchers of Institutional Support for Gold Open Access Fees (Where Publication Fees are Covered by the Author)

Gold open access carries with it the cost associated with compensating publishers for providing peer review, editing, and manuscript preparation and sometimes hosting the content.  Fees are charged for this service and are generally born by the institution, the granting agency sponsoring the research, and/or the author. It is generally not economically feasible for an institution to assume fiscal responsibility for all published research articles through Gold open access licensing.  A variety of publishing and licensing conventions, such as those stated above and the use of Creative Commons, shareware, etc., are recommended to achieve the greatest good.  

Benefits to researchers are numerous, where there is institutional support for Gold open access fees and publication fees are covered by the author.  For example, research indicates that open access increases visibility, readership, citation, and impact of an author’s work.  It creates new paths for discovery, nurtures interdisciplinary research, and accelerates the pace of research.

Differences Between and Among Disciplinary Fields

The Task Force recognizes that differences exist among disciplines such that faculty in some disciplines may publish less in scholarly journals and conference proceedings and more in other outlets such as books and monographs.  Faculty who might publish less in scholarly journals and conference proceedings are encouraged to publish in outlets subject to open access policies as appropriate to the faculty member and the discipline. 

Determination of Which Researchers and Research Should Be Covered by an Open Access Policy

Although the law currently applies to faculty scholarly journal articles, the Task Force recommends that this policy be expanded over time to include scholarly research and creative activity in all forms produced by university personnel and students.

Although Public Act 093-0295 identifies only faculty, all university staff and students are encouraged to contribute research articles to the institutional repository.