The committee on copyright at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is debating whether to require faculty members to publish in open-access journals, reported The Daily Tar Heel. Funds already exist through UNC’s Health Sciences Library to help faculty members who want to publish in free journals, but it is not yet a university-wide policy to require professors to do so.
“If you aspire to do what the University mission says and spread a wealth of knowledge to the citizens of North Carolina and, as much as possible, the world, then you should consider open access and make it a top priority,” committee member Paul Jones told The Daily Tar Heel, although he acknowledged certain disadvantages to the open-access model, like a more limited selection of journals.
Though a variety of institutions, including Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, Dartmouth College, and Columbia University, have signed the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE), thus promising to establish long-term funding strategies to underwrite publication fees necessary to support open-access journals, UNC appears to be one of the first universities to consider requiring faculty to publish in these journals.
In another model, Princeton University authorizes faculty members to post papers in open-access repositories, and push back against publishers who ask faculty to sign exclusive copyright contracts.