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Open Access: OA at CMU


Open access is strategically important to Carnegie Mellon. Members of the campus community actively promote open access, routinely provide open access to their work, and heavily use open access resources.  Open access benefits researchers in their dual roles as authors and readers

CMU Open Access Resolution

Approved by the Faculty Senate November 13, 2007


  • Scholars and their professional associations share a common interest in broad, rapid and affordable dissemination of peer-reviewed literature
  • Universities subsidize scholarly research and then must purchase published findings at increasingly high costs because scholars transfer their copyright to publishers
  • Many Carnegie Mellon faculty are interested in providing open access to their work because it increases the impact of their work and Advances the interests of the scholarly community
  • The technical skills and support available to help faculty provide open access to their work by self-archiving it on personal or department websites are uneven across departments within the University.

Therefore be it resolved that the Faculty Senate strongly encourages Carnegie Mellon faculty to

  • Know their publishing rights
  • Retain the right to self-archive their work
  • Self-archive and provide open access to their work in keeping with publisher open access policies
  • Continue to maintain the highest academic standards – (Deleted: see motion below.)

Be it further resolved that
The Faculty Senate strongly encourages the Office of Legal Counsel and the Libraries to

  • Continue the Authors’ Rights and Wrongs program to help faculty understand the issues

The Faculty Senate strongly encourages Computing Services and the Libraries to

  • Provide tools to help faculty retain the necessary rights and self-archive their work

Open Access Week

Open Access Week is an annual international event promoting open access to peer-reviewed work as a new norm in research and scholarship.  Sponsored by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Open Access Week began in 2007.  Carnegie Mellon University Libraries have been organizing Open Access Week activities on campus since 2010.

In this Open Access Week 2020 event, "Open Access & the Library of the 21st Century: A Discussion of the Open Access Initiatives and Practices at Carnegie Mellon University" hosts David Scherer, Scholarly Communications & Research Curation Consultant and Keith Webster, Keith Webster, Dean of University Libraries & Director of Emerging and Integrative Media Initiatives bring you a lively discussion on open access (OA) at Carnegie Mellon.

Iain Cruickshank, Research Scientist, Institute for Software Research
Kris Dahl, Professor, Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering
Cole Gleason, PhD Student, Human Computer Interaction Institute
Molly Lewis, Special Faculty, Psychology & Social and Decision Sciences
Shawn Litster, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Special Open Access Week Screening of The Pay WallPaywall: The Business of Scholarship Screening

  • Tuesday, October 23, 2018
  • 4:30 p.m.
  • Sorrells Engineering Library

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship is a documentary which focuses on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with

the top academic publisher Elsevier and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google. Staying true to the open access model: it is free to stream and download, for private or public use, and maintains the most open CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons designation to ensure anyone regardless of their social, financial or political background will have access.

Join us on Tuesday, October 23 at 4:30pm in the CMU Sorrell’s Engineering Library for a public screening of the documentary. Refreshments will be provided.

Weaving the Fabric of Research: The KiltHub Repository at CMU

When: Tuesday, October 24 – 10:00am-12:00pm and 2:00pm-4:00pm
Where: Sorrells Library, Wean Hall, CMU

How can one make their research more open? What are the benefits of making your research data and other scholarly outputs publicly available? How can I comply with my funders open access mandates? If I make my work openly available, how can I ensure my work is being viewed, downloaded, and cited? Is my work discoverable in search engines like Google and Google Scholar? What is the KiltHub Repository?

Join us in the Sorrells Library in Wean Hall at CMU on Tuesday, October 24 from 10:00am – 12:00pm or from 2:00pm to 4:00pm for open walk-in assistance in making one’s research data and other scholarly outputs publicly available on the new CMU KiltHub Repository.

Powered by figshare and provided by the University Libraries, KiltHub ( is the institutional repository and research collaboration platform for CMU faculty, staff, and students. By collecting, preserving, and providing stable, open access to the research datasets and other scholarly outputs of the CMU community and their collaborators, KiltHub knits together the components of one’s academic work from every stage of the research process, and showcases it on the global scale.

Members of the University Libraries will be on hand to answer questions about KiltHub, as well as assist attendees in making their materials available in the repository. Special prizes and giveaways will be available for those that attend. Attendees can learn more about KiltHub, how it can be used, and what it means to make your research data and other scholarly outputs open access. 

The Gold and Green Standards: Supporting Open Access Journal Publishing

When: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Where: Sorrells Library, Wean Hall, CMU

How can one make their research more open? What does it mean to publish in an Open Access journal? What does Green and Gold Open Access mean? What benefits are there in publishing with an open access journal, or making articles from traditional journals more open?

Join us in the Sorrells Library in Wean Hall at CMU on Wednesday, October 25 from 4:00pm – 5:30pm to hear more about the experiences of faculty and graduate student authors who have published in open access journals.

Attendees interested in publishing their research more openly can expect to hear more about publishing in open access journals, as well as making scholarship in traditional journals more open. Attendees will learn more about the CMU APC Fund, how it can be used, and what it means to publish in open access journals, and how traditional closed-access research can be made more open. Food and refreshments will be provided.

David Scherer, University Libraries, CMU

Paul Welle, PhD Student, Engineering and Public Policy
Carmel Majidi, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Ryan Sullivan, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering

Adopting Open Publishing Practices at CMU

When: Monday, October 30, 2017 – 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Where: Sorrells Library, Wean Hall, CMU

With the rising costs of journal subscriptions, textbooks, and scholarly monographs, and so many readers shifting from analog to digital formats, there has been a growing demand for open access publishing. At CMU, the Entertainment Technology Center Press has been openly publishing its entire catalog for years. Additionally, a number of CMU faculty members have developed open access textbooks in the areas of facilities management and life cycle assessment. More and more, faculty across the disciplines are turning to open access resources to relieve the cost burden on their students, and to use more timely materials within the classroom.

Join us in the Sorrells Library at CMU on Monday, October 30 from 4:00pm – 5:30pm to hear more about adopting open publishing methods and practices, and how open publishing has been adopted and implemented at CMU.

Brad King, Press Director, ETC Press

Drew Davidson, Director, Entertainment Technology Center
Don Coffelt, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Campus Services, CMU
Chris Hendrickson, Hamerschlag University Professor Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineering, CMU

Open Data as Teaching and Learning Resource: A Panel Discussion with Open Data Faculty Champions

Watch the recording on YouTube

This panel pulls together faculty from Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, and the University of Pittsburgh for a discussion about the opportunities that open data offer to teaching and learning in higher education. While there is widespread recognition of the value of shared data to research activity, this session aims to contribute to our understanding of benefits in the classroom. Panelists will describe their uses of open data in teaching and the associated learning objectives, their perspectives on the potential of open data to education and student learning, and their reflections on challenges, student experiences, and lessons learned about embedding open data in teaching.

Bob Gradeck, Project Manager, Western PA Regional Data Center

Dr. Gibbs Kanyongo, Director, M.S. ED in Educational Studies & Associate Professor of Educational Statistics & Research, Duquesne University
Jaime Booth, Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh
Christopher Warren, Associate Professor of English, Carnegie Mellon University
Rebecca Nugent, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Teaching Faculty, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University

Supporting Open Publishing: Article Processing Funds of CMU and the University of Pittsburgh

Watch the recording on YouTube

With many government agencies implementing public access mandates over the past few years, journal publishers have developed new models for paying for the work of publication through Article Processing Charges (APCs).

On Monday, October 24, the University Libraries will host a joint event with the University of Pittsburgh Library System where those interested in publishing their research openly can hear more about the APC Funds of both institutions, what journals are eligible, and how one applies for financial support from the funds. A panel of past recipients will also be on hand discussing their experiences with publishing their research with unrestricted public access, and what recommendations or advice they have for future recipients of the fund.

Join us in IDeATe Studio A in the Hunt Library at CMU on Monday, October 24 to hear more about the APC Fund, how it’s used, and what it means to publish openly. Food and refreshments will be provided.

Carnegie Mellon University speakers:
Professor J. David Creswell, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
David Scherer, Scholarly Communications and Research Curation Consultant
University of Pittsburgh speakers:
Professor Ervin Sejdic, Assistant Professor, Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biomedical Informatics
Lauren Collister, Scholarly Communications Librarian

Curating the Scholarly Record: The Development of the Scholarly Information Ecosystem at Carnegie Mellon University

Watch the recording on YouTube

In its strategic plan CMU has set out an ambitious vision for the future of its university libraries, including a commitment to curating the data, publications, software, and other products of the research process. To achieve this goal, the University Libraries would develop an infrastructure built around information specialists as partners in research, teaching, and learning, to steward the evolving scholarly record, champion new forms of scholarly communication to become recognized globally as a leader in the development of the scholarly information ecosystem.

Attendees can expect to learn more on:

  • Finding out how to describe, store, and share your data
  • Making the scholarly outputs more openly accessible
  • Understanding how funding agencies are supporting research in your field
  • Understanding how your work is reported in newspapers, social media, and online academic services

Join University Libraries Dean Keith Webster, and the Managing Director of Digital Science, Daniel Hook, on Wednesday, October 26 from 5:00-6:30 as they discuss the tools, platforms, and services that will become the scholarly information ecosystem at Carnegie Mellon University to better curate the scholarly record.

The Power of Open: A Presentation and Q&A with Heather Joseph (SPARC)

Link for more information:

Heather Joseph of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) will speak about the opportunities and challenges of opening up access to educational materials and research outputs, and discuss ways that libraries have been successful in this world of Open resources.

Heather Joseph serves as SPARC’s Executive Director, leading the strategic and operational activities of the organization. She has focused SPARC’s efforts on supporting new models for the open sharing of digital articles, data and educational resources. She convenes the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and the Open Access Working Group, broad coalitions of university, library, advocacy, and consumer groups that serve as leading voices on U.S. open access policies, including the landmark National Institutes for Health (NIH) public access policy and a recent White House Directive.

Open in Action: The Government, the University, and You  

Learn about the latest actions around the Open Access Movement in the United States, and how you can get involved. Congressman Mike Doyle will join us to discuss FASTR, the Free Access to Science and Technology Research bill that he co-sponsored, which will require Open Access to all research articles funded by major US Government departments and agencies. He will discuss the history and origin of the bill as well as its current state in Congress, including what this bill would mean for researchers at our universities, across the country, and around the world.

Following Congressman Doyle’s speech, join us for a conversation with a panel of experts on advocacy and involvement in Open Access. James Maher, Provost Emeritus and Distinguished Service Professor of Physics at the University of Pittsburgh, will join special guests including Heather Joseph (Executive Director, SPARC) and Keith Webster (Dean of Libraries, Carnegie Mellon University) to discuss the role of the University and the individual researcher in moving the Open movement forward and what the impact of open access to research will be locally and globally.

Pittsburgh Wikipedia Redd-up-a-thon

Join us on Wednesday, November 2, from 5pm to 7pm, for a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon open to any member of the community and hosted at the University of Pittsburgh's Digital Scholarship Commons in the Hillman Library. During this event, two brief trainings will be held concurrently and the remainder of the time will be devoted to working individually or as part of a group to edit Wikipedia and improve Pittsburgh-related pages. A list of pages and resources is available at our Wikipedia Edit-a-thon page

A "Wikipedia Editing for Beginners" session will be held for those new to editing Wikipedia and will train editors in the basics of how Wikipedia works, as well as editing a user page, and making small and manageable improvements to Wikipedia (such as adding references and copyediting).

An "Advanced Wikipedia" session will be for experienced editors and will be held by one of the University of Pittsburgh's Wikipedia Visiting Scholars. In this session, we will cover helpful tools that make creating an article quicker and easier. 

As this event is part of Open Access Week, anyone who includes an open resource or who makes it their mission to mark Open Access scholarly articles on Wikipedia will receive a special pin commemorating the event. 

Please RSVP at our Wikipedia Edit-a-thon page by editing the page and including your Wikipedia username or your name at the bottom. New editors are recommended to sign up for a Wikipedia account before the session begins. 

Innovations in scholarly communications are all about open: open access, open data, open licensing, open peer review.  CMU Libraries and the University of Pittsburgh Library System are collaborating on Open Access Week events. Here's the scoop:

The Open Movement in Higher Education

Sheila Corrall, University of Pittsburgh

Video and slides available here.

Open approaches have the potential to enhance research, learning, and knowledge exchange on a global scale. Current state of open activities in the higher education. Common factors. Benefits for individuals and institutions of adopting an integrated approach to policy and practice. How you can promote and advance openness.

In Broad Daylight: Innovation & Transparency in Peer Review

Larry Kane (Univ of Pitt, F1000 Research), Josh Nicholson (The Winnower), Brandon Stell (PubPeer), and Lenny Teytelman (ProtocolsIO)

Video and slides available here.

Independent peer review is a foundation of scholarship. While it can strengthen and validate academic work before publication, it also has problematic components. Panelists discuss the issues with traditional peer review and innovations enabled by the digital age that address those issues, promote transparency and accelerate the pace of research.

Got Data?  Building a Sustainable Ecosystem for Data Driven Research

Francine Berman: U.S. lead, Research Data Alliance, Distinguished Professor in Computer Science and Director of the Center for a Digital Society, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Link to video.

Data is the driving force for new discovery and innovation in the Information Age. Yet lack of a healthy ecosystem for data stewardship, preservation and use puts critical data on which new discovery depends at risk. Berman explores the opportunities & challenges of creating a viable ecosystem to help sustain the Information Age’s most valuable resource.

Colloquium on Open Data & Research Futures

Mario Bergés, IBM Smart Infrastructure Analytics Lab (CMU); Bob Gradeck, Western PA Regional Data Center (Pitt); Geoff Hutchison, Pitt Quantum Repository (Pitt); and Christopher Warren, Six Degrees of Francis Bacon (CMU); moderated by Keith Webster, Dean of CMU Libraries

Link to video.

Moderated by Dean of CMU Libraries Keith Webster, the Challenge of Openness and Transparency in Scholarly Communication featured panelists Maryann Martone (Force11), Peter Binfield (PeerJ), Rachel Burley (Wiley), and Jennifer Lin (PLOS). The video is available in Research Showcase @ CMU.

The October 22 keynote event of the Libraries' Open Access Week 2013 activities featured eight Carnegie Mellon faculty researchers and the Dean of Libraries talking briefly about the importance of open access and how they and their colleagues open access to their work.  Watch the videos of the speakers, see the impacts framework presented at this event, and view the slide show that ran non-stop in the libraries throughout the week.

CMU and Open Access

The university has taken a number of actions to promote open access.

2003 then-Provost Mark Kamlet signed the Budapest Open Access Initiative. 

2007 – CMU’s Faculty Senate formalized this commitment with an Open Access Resolution that strongly encouraged faculty to make their work more available to the public.

2008 – CMU faculty Jay Apt, David Dzombak, Hyung Kim, and David Yaron participated in a Forum panel on Open Access in Chemistry.  The Faculty Senate passed the Central Repository Resolution encouraging the university to provide funding to create a central open access repository for research publications and encouraging faculty to deposit their work in the repository.

2009 – In response to the Central Repository Resolution, the Office of the Provost funded Research Showcase to preserve and provide open access to work produced at Carnegie Mellon.  The University Libraries began participating in the annual worldwide celebration of Open Access Week. 

2010 The University Libraries launches its first institutional repository, Research Showcase. CMU participates in its first celebration of Open Access Week. 

2011 – Faculty publishing in BioMed Central (BMC) and Public Library of Science (PLoS) open access journals asked the University Libraries to join BMC and PLoS to receive membership discounts on Article Processing Charges (APCs) to publish open access.  CMU faculty Steve Feinberg and Tim Deliyannides of the University of Pittsburgh participated in a Scholarly Communications Forum on Open Access E Journals: View from the Top.

2012 – The University Libraries joined BMC and PLoS to receive membership discounts on Article Processing Charges (APCs) for campus authors publishing in BMC and PLoS (open access) journals.  Faculty interested in open access and other scholarly communications issues joined the Scholarly Communications Advisory Board formed to help the University Libraries plan and prioritize initiatives, develop strategies, address federal regulations, and keep abreast of evolving disciplinary practices and faculty concerns.  The Advisory Board unanimously recommended that the University Libraries create a fund to help faculty pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) to publish in open access journals, and encouraged the Libraries to draft Guidelines on Author Rights and Preservation.  The Libraries drafted and began to disseminate for discussion Guidelines on Author Rights and Preservation.  

2013 – The University Libraries creates the CMU APC Fund, a fund to help faculty pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) to publish in open access journals.

2016 The University Libraries replaces Research Showcase and launches its new comprehensive institutional repository, KiltHub, to increase the dissemination of open access materials created by the CMU community include research datasets. 

November 2019 CMU announces  transformative agreement with Elsevier, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to ensuring that the university's research is open and accessible to the world. 

January 2020  Dean of Libraries and Director of Emerging and Integrative Media Initiatives Keith Webster writes an open-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled, “Libraries will champion an open future for scholarship” outlining the responsibilities of academic libraries to support open access.

June 2020 – CMU enters into a two-year open access agreement with the Public Library of Science (PLoS) allowing researchers to publish in PLoS' suite of journals without incurring Article Processing Charges (APCs). 

January 2020 – CMU joins the University of California (UC), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Iowa State University (ISU).  into transformative open access agreements with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest scientific and educational computing society.

January 2021 – CMU enters into a three-year read and publish agreement with Cambridge University Press for its suite of journals.