A great year for open access, open science

The U.S. government declared 2023 the Federal Year of Open Science! Open Science is a broad term that includes everything from open access research, open data, open-source code, citizen science and open educational resources.

ECU libraries have made strides to encourage open access publishing and use, and we look forward to continuing this work.

Open Science benefits researchers by making scientific discoveries more accessible. By increasing open science, researchers in lower-income institutions and countries can have access to cutting-edge research to inform their own experiments and practices, citizen scientists can add to existing research through worldwide group efforts that may be out of the scope of individual researchers and activists can access information needed to advocate for a better world. People can even create new ways of communicating research with the public, like this game on reducing climate change.

To learn more about the benefits of open science, check out this site on Why Open Research?

Open Access Publishing Support Fund

While the Open Access Publishing Support Fund (OAPSF) is open to all departments and colleges at ECU, we have had tremendous turnout from the university’s scientific community. This fund is open to any ECU researcher who wants to publish in an open access or hybrid journal not currently covered by a preexisting library agreement.

The OAPSF may support 50% or maximum $1,000 for APC/open access charges. The total amount is based on the number of successful applications and amount of available funds.

Since 2014, more than 100 articles have been published with support from the Open Access Support Fund.

The OAPSF accepts submissions each year with a fall deadline in November and a spring deadline in April. The 2022-23 fund is currently open until April 15.

Partnerships with Publishers

ECU Libraries have agreements with multiple publishers to reduce or eliminate article processing charges for open access articles. Publishers include Cambridge University Press, The Company of Biologists, IOP Publishing, PLOS, Sage and Wiley.  Please visit the Sustainable Scholarship page for more details on these agreements: https://sustainablescholarship.ecu.edu/open-access-publishing-support/.

For examples of how these agreements work, please see below:

  •  Public Library of Science (PLOS): ECU corresponding authors submit their article to PLOS using the publisher’s directions. When an article is accepted and an ECU faculty member is listed as a corresponding author, ECU Libraries’ will be notified by PLOS to support the article processing charge as per the agreement.
  •  Sage Open: ECU corresponding authors submit articles to Sage Open. When the article is accepted, Sage will apply the 10% discount from the Carolina Consortium to the article processing charges.

In addition to these agreements, ECU Libraries have partnered with other publishers to convert new or existing publications to open access. These partnerships include Annual Reviews and MIT Press’s “Direct to Open.” For annual reviews, ECU Libraries are with other members of the Carolina Consortium in the “Subscribe to Open” option and helped convert five titles to open access journals in 2020. These titles include Annual Review of Cancer Biology, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science, Annual Review of Political Science and Annual Review of Public Health.

ECU Libraries’ support of MIT Press’s “Direct to Open” helped publish 80 open access scholarly monographs in 2022. To view all the “Direct to Open” texts, please visit MIT Press Direct’s website: https://direct.mit.edu/books/search-results?fl_SiteID=5&f_ContentType=Book&access_openaccess=true

Open Science Framework

ECU Libraries are partnering with the Center for Open Science to provide access and training on Open Science Framework. Researchers can now set up a free workspace using their ECU credentials. Open Science Framework allows researchers to collaborate with others at different institutions. It also provides ways to make portions of the workspace available open access, such as final datasets that may be required by funders. The National Institutes of Health recently approved Open Science Framework as an approved repository for data management.

Data and Ways to Further Understanding

A key part of creating and sustaining open science is open data. Open data is raw data shared for other researchers to see and use. Sharing raw data is a requirement for several grants (including all federally funded grants) because it allows grant money to farther by allowing different researchers to create new knowledge analyzing the data in a new way as well as improving the reproducibility of the experiment.
Raw data can be submitted to a repository where it can be found by other researchers. To find a repository, search the Registry of Research Data Repositories. Deposit and search for data is available in Dataverse through NC DOCKS, ECU’s data repository.

Creating good open data relies on using the FAIR principles. FAIR means that data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. More information can be found at Go FAIR.

Making Research Available

If the research is already published, or looking into multiple options, research can still be made open access. Most journals allow researchers to place either the completed article or a preprint of their article in their Institutional Repository (IR). ECU’s IR is called The ScholarShip and submitting an article is easy.
Other places to submit preprints include:






Learn More about Open Science

To learn more about Open Science and how to participate, check out the following tool kits, course modules and webpages.