On passing an open access policy at Florida State University: From outreach to implementation

Devin Soper


In February 2016, the Florida State University (FSU) Faculty Senate passed an institutional Open Access (OA) Policy by unanimous vote,1 following the lead of many public and private universities across the United States. This was the culmination of many years of outreach and advocacy by OA champions at FSU, with a diverse, talented team of faculty and librarians making significant contributions along the way. This was also just one instance of a growing trend across North America and globally, with impressive growth in the number of OA policies and mandates adopted by research organizations and funders over the past decade. The adoption of an OA policy still presents many challenges with respect to policy compliance,2 and there are open questions about the long-term impact of different OA policy requirements and implementation models.3 At the same time, OA policy adoption remains an important goal for many institutions, a symbolic affirmation of faculty support for the principles of OA. An OA policy can help an institution raise the profile of its institutional repository (IR), invigorate outreach efforts and content recruitment, and, in the case of Harvard Model policies, safeguard the author rights of its faculty.4

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