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Posted Jun 22 2021 by Agnes Gambill

In 2020, Scholarly Communications launched a new program to help faculty and researchers publish open access academic journals at Appalachian State University.  The first two journals were created in collaboration with the Center for Analytics Research and Education at Appalachian's Walker College of BusinessUniversity of Arkansas, and SAS Institute, the world's largest privately-held software business. 

Appalachian's Head of Scholarly Communications, Agnes Gambill, has worked closely with the Knowledge Futures Group, a non-profit that was initially founded as a partnership between MIT Press and MIT Media Lab, to implement PubPub, the open publishing platform used to support Appalachian's open journals program.  Knowledge Futures Group builds products that make knowledge open and accessible for all.  Applachian State University Library is a founding member of Knowledge Future Group's program, Community Publishing for Libraries (CP4L). 

The new journals are unique as they are considered "data journals," a type of scholarly journal that publishes data papers and datasets.  While Appalachian publishes original and peer-reviewed data papers, the University of Arkansas hosts the datasets that are associated with each publication on its Teradata platform.  The two journals include BeeXML: Journal for Bee Data Standardization and Data & Analytics For Good.  Both journals aim to further one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to support research practices that facilitate open science.  The newest addition to the open journal program is the Journal of the Blue Cross Institute for Health and Human Services (JIHHS).  

To learn more about Appalachian's Open Journal program, check out this blog post by the Knowledge Futures Group.  The blog post features a presentation by Professor Gambill at the 2021 Library Publishing Forum and a brief virtual tour of the open data journals.     

For more information about open access, scholarly publishing, or how to start a new open access journal, contact Scholarly Communications at Appalachian State University. 


RECAPP 2020, Sep. 14-18, 2020

Posted Jul 24 2020 by Agnes Gambill

Call for Submissions - RECAPP 2020

The Office of Research, The Office of Student Research, and University Libraries are excited to virtually host the second annual Research and Creative Activity at Appalachian event during the week of September 14 - 18, 2020.

This event celebrates all research, scholarship, and creative endeavors - funded and unfunded - of Appalachian Faculty and Staff. The event will be comprised of virtual sessions held synchronously and asynchronously throughout the week, culminating in a live zoom-cast awards ceremony for the Chancellor's and Provost's Awards for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, followed by an informal Q&A with award recipients. Faculty and staff will present digital posters, oral presentations, art, and/or performances.

All presentations will take place throughout the week of Sept 14 - 18, 2020. Presenters will have the option for a moderated Q&A session along with their presentation (there will be a limited amount of these) or you may choose to upload a brief video introducing or providing commentary on your work. More details about these options will be provided upon notification of selection.

○ Digital Poster
○ Art Piece
○ Oral Presentation
○ Virtual Performance (all performances must be recorded to ensure optimal viewing experience)

Please submit your research, scholarship and/or creative endeavor abstract or information to be part of this event!

Presentations will be chosen to display a wide range of different topics and disciplines.


Plan S illustration of closed and open access articles

Posted Mar 19 2020 by Agnes Gambill

Why Publicly Available Research & Data are Critical to Combatting the COVID-19 Outbreak

Debate over the pros and cons of open access is coming to a halt amidst the dire need for open research and data to combat the present public health crisis.  Now, ears are pricked.  

On March 13, 2020,  the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, government science leaders, science ministers, and chief science advisors across the world asked scholarly publishers to make all COVID-19-related research and data immediately available to the public.  Officials note, "basic science research and innovation will be vital to addressing this global crisis ... it is particularly important that scientists and the public can access research outcomes as soon as possible."[1]

In the United States, research that is federally funded must be made freely available to the public within 12-months of its publication in a journal.  The White House is now considering a change to this policy, which would make federally funded research available immediately upon publication without the interference of paywalls.  If implemented, this policy would closely mirror efforts by a consortium of European research funders, known as cOAlition S, whose "Plan S" also calls for immediate access to government funded research. 

Publishers, traditional opponents of the proposed policy, state that making research immediately available would "hinder the peer-review process, stifle innovation, and tip the publishing business into chaos."[2]

The COVID-19 outbreak has persuaded publishers to change their stance.  At least 100 academic journals, societies, institutes, and companies have already signed a commitment to make research and data on COVID-19 freely available, and that number continues to grow.  Similar statements have been made during other outbreaks, including the 2009 flu pandemic, the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic, and the spread of the Zika virus in 2016.[3]    

Orchestrated collaboration for the public good, such as making COVID-19 related research publicly available, serves as a reminder to universities and researchers to advocate locally for open access principles within the academic community in order to support the research enterprise.

More information on Open Access at Appalachian State University can be found here.

More information on Open Access Week 2019 can be found here.

[1] The White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy, President Trump's Science Advisor and Government Science Leaders from Around the World call on Publishers to make all COVID-19 Related Research Publically Available (March 13, 2020).  

[2] Subbaraman, N., Rumours fly about changes to US government open-access policy, (Dec. 20, 2019).  

[3] Yasinski, E., Journals Open Access to Coronavirus Resources, The Scientist (Feb. 13, 2020).  

Posted Mar 15 2020 by Agnes Gambill

At the time of writing, universities and schools have closed in 49 countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Library consortia and individual libraries across the world are working around the clock to ensure that library services and resources are not disrupted.  Many classes have moved online, as recommended by the World Health Organization, government officials, and various health agencies.  Fortunately, many vendors are generously providing free/discounted access to content until this challenging time passes.  For more information on available resources, please contact your Library Liaison.    

The International Coalition of Library Consortia issued this statement, urging publishers to lift restrictions on photocopying and interlibrary loan limits, waive user limits to licensed digital content, make research and data about COVID-19 available through Open Access, and enable flexible fair use analyses. 

Library Copyright Specialists in the United States have also issued a statement on analyzing fair use during a public health crisis.  The key takeaway: "It is evident that making materials available and accessible to students in this time of crisis will almost always be a fair use.  As long as we are being thoughtful in our analysis and limiting our activities to the specific needs of our patrons during this time of crisis, copyright law supports our uses.  The fair use doctrine accommodates the flexibility required by our shared public health crisis, enabling society to function and progress while protecting human life and safety."   

Appalachian State University has issued copyright guidance for remote/online teaching and research here.  Library Liaisons who have participated in the Appalachian Copyright Academy have suitable copyright knowledge to address your questions for using copyrighted content in times of crisis, such as global health pandemics.  Contact the Scholarly Communications Office for further information or assistance.