UNT is one of the first US universities to join a global alliance for accelerating the transition to open access scholarship.

The University of North Texas has joined OA2020, a global alliance of institutions led by the Max Planck Digital Library in Munich, that have committed to taking active steps to drive the transformation of the system for publishing works of scholarship.  By signing the OA2020 Expression of Interest, President Neal Smatresk has pledged that UNT will convert resources currently spent on journal subscriptions into support for sustainable models for publishing in open access, meaning articles are made free to read and share rather than available only through subscriptions.  UNT is the seventh US institution and the first outside of California to sign the Expression of Interest.

“With the cost of subscriptions to journals increasing by an average of 6% per year, libraries can no longer afford to continue absorbing the cost of subscribing to so many subscription-based journals,” said Diane Bruxvoort, dean of libraries.  “As the primary customers for scholarly journals, academic libraries need to take leadership in converting academic publishing from a subscription model to one where other models of funding allow journals to be made free for all to read.”

UNT has a longstanding commitment to open access.  Since 2010 the UNT Libraries have organized an annual Open Access Symposium attracting speakers and attendees from around the world; the 2018 symposium will be held June 6–7 at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth.  UNT was the first public institution in Texas to adopt an open access policy, by which UNT researchers are expected to make their work available unless constrained by their publisher.

The UNT Libraries will develop a strategy in consultation with UNT faculty and other researchers for converting funds spent on journal subscriptions.  The Libraries will hold town hall events in September to provide more information about OA2020 and consult with faculty on possible paths towards fulfilling UNT’s commitment.

The UNT Libraries will continue to offer interlibrary loan services to assist UNT researchers in getting access to journal articles and other material not available through the UNT Libraries.  In addition, the UNT Libraries provides a number of resources to help researchers at UNT understand open access and make their work more widely available.