Part of UT’s mission is to “contribute to the advancement of society through research, creative activity, scholarly inquiry and the development and dissemination of new knowledge”. One way we can help fulfill that mission is by making more of the University’s research and scholarship available open access. Open access (OA) is the free, immediate access to research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment (definition from SPARC).
One way UT Libraries is trying to facilitate greater access to UT Austin research is through open access deals with publishers. The University of Texas at Austin signed an agreement with Cambridge University Press (CUP) in 2021 that gives the UT community access to over 400 CUP journals and gives UT Austin authors the option to make their articles in any of those journals OA without needing to pay an article processing charge (APC). We were able to get all of this for only a very modest increase in price over our previous deal.
From January 2021 (when our deal went into effect) through June 2022, there have been 77 articles published by UT Austin authors, of which, 60 are available open access on the CUP platform, and a further eight are available OA on open repositories like arXiv and PubMed Central. If we had to pay those APCs individually, they would have cost us $117,043.50 in 2021 and $62,147 so far this year.
Giving our authors the option to publish OA with Cambridge allows us to share the knowledge being created here with people in Austin, in Texas, and around the globe. Here’s just one indication of the importance of sharing our research more widely — these 77 articles have been downloaded over 64,000 times.
UTL is excited about this Cambridge deal for several reasons. CUP journals are valued by our faculty, students, and staff both as journals to read and journals to publish in. CUP includes many journals in the fine arts and humanities; disciplines which are not always well represented in open access publishing initiatives. CUP offered us a deal that is financially sustainable for us long-term and which increases access to the research being done at UT. The CUP deal includes unlimited OA publications by UT authors. This means we don’t have to monitor a fund, we know exactly how much it will cost us this year, and we don’t have to tell any authors “sorry, this year’s funding has run out”.
Our agreement with CUP is part of a larger effort to engage with and support open access initiatives that help create a more sustainable (both financially and operationally) and equitable scholarly communication ecosystem for readers and authors.
UT authors who are interested in publishing with a Cambridge University Press journal can find out more about their journals on the CUP website. The process of selecting open access for accepted articles is relatively straightforward. More information about all our open memberships, and contact information for those with questions, are available on our Open Access LibGuide.