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Open content policy

Library Services policy statement on ‘Open’, August 2015

There is a clear synergy between the mission of The Open University - to be ‘Open to people, places, methods and ideas’[1] and the movement towards ‘Open Access’[2] in academic content.

Library Services supports this mission and the move to Open Access by:

  1. Finding and recommending high quality open content for use in learning and teaching (including informal learning)
  2. Ensuring the discoverability of open content through our systems
  3. Providing expert advice and guidance to researchers on disseminating their output in Open Access
  4. Providing a publishing platform for disseminating research  (e.g. Open Research Online)
  5. Exerting influence and undertaking advocacy with publishers, academics, libraries and other librarians to make more high quality open content available
  6. Contributing materials to the University’s informal learning platforms e.g. the Digital and Information Literacy Framework, Being Digital
  7. Influencing the University around Open Access publishing and alternative publishing models
  8. Influencing academic authors to help them to manage their intellectual property appropriately

Library Services have demonstrated a commitment to Open Access initiatives through being:

  • a signatory of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002),
  • a founder member of SPARC Europe (2004) (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition – whose mission is to take the Open Access movement further),
  • a signatory to the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL) Declaration on Open Access (2004),
  • Members of EThOS since 2008 (Electronic Theses Online), promoting visibility of HE postgraduate research.

[1] The OU’s mission

“We promote educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Through academic research, pedagogic innovation and collaborative partnership we seek to be a world leader in the design, content and delivery of supported open learning.”

[2]Research Council UK Policy on Open Access

“Free and open access to the outputs of publicly ‐ funded research offers significant social and economic benefits as well as aiding the development of new research.”