United States of America

The USA embraced OA principles in the 1960’s developing ERIC and MEDLINE. Initiatives e.g. PubMed Central continue and offer repository facilities and access to international medical scholarship. As of May 2015, there are 469 OA repositories registered in OpenDOAR and 1053 OA journals from USA indexed in DOAJ, making it the world’s largest OA publisher.

The Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources (ROAD) currently lists 1 Scholarly Blog from USA.

As of February 2015, 127 OA policies are registered in ROARMAP

Enabling Environment:

There is strong support for Open Access in USA. The NIH mandate mandates the deposit of medical  research. As of May 2015, USA has 4 funding mandates registered in ROARMAP and over 50 institutional mandates at public and private institutions, research universities and liberal arts colleges.

In Feb 2013, the US government announced its new OA policy which mandated all publications arising from taxpayer-funded research to be made free to read after a one year embargo period. This is an expansion on a policy that had till then applied only to the biomedical sciences.

Potential Barriers:

Major barriers are widespread misunderstanding around OA; a well-funded publishing lobby.

Major Projects/Initiatives:

USA has many institutional and collaborative OA projects, an important current project being that of the Creative Commons (CC).
Raising the Floor Consortium is a collaboration between Creative Commons (CC), Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative (OLI), Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC). (Source: Creative Commons)

The following websites give current news and information on OA initiatives:

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

National Institutes of Health (NIH), largest medical research funder has a mandate requiring OA deposit within 12 months of publication.

USA pro-OA legislation proposed in America Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPPA) Public Law 111-358 would require all federal research agencies with a research budget of $100 million per year to make research output available in open access within 6 months. It has been proposed twice but remains to be voted on.

There are 7 funding mandates operating in USA from:

  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
  • Institute of Educational Sciences (IES)
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation.

Details of Key Organizations:

Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA)
Overview:  ATA is a consortium of patient groups, physicians, researchers, educational institutions, publishers, and health promotion organizations administered by SPARC and working towards open access of taxpayer-funded research.

Communication address: Alliance for Taxpayer Access, c/o SPARC, 21 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036 USA; e-mail: jennifer(at)arl.org

Open Access Working Group (OAWG)
Overview: OAWG, initiated by SPARC in 2003, to build a framework for collective advocacy of open access to research. The group seeks to build broad-based recognition that the economic and societal benefits of scientific and scholarly research investments are maximized through open access to the results of that research. OAWG aims to bring about changes within stakeholder institutions enabling viable open access models to be widely and successfully implemented and accepted. (Source: OAWG)

Communication address: SPARC 21 Dupont Circle, NW. Suite 800 Washington, DC 20036; e-mail: sparc(at)arl.org

Public Knowledge (PK)
Overview: Public Knowledge is a Washington, D.C.-based public interest group working to defend citizens' rights in the emerging digital culture. Public Knowledge will seek to fulfill four broad goals: Ensuring that U.S. intellectual property law and policy reflect the “cultural bargain” intended by the framers of the constitution: providing an incentive to creators and innovators while benefiting the public through the free flow of information and ideas; Preserving an Internet that is built upon open standards and protocols and “end-to-end” architecture, thereby fostering innovation and user control; Protecting consumers of digital technology from market practices designed to erode competition, choice and fairness; Ensuring that international intellectual property policies are adopted through democratic processes and with public interest participation. (Source: PK)

Communication address: Public Knowledge, 1818 N Street, NW, Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036; e-mail: pk(at)publicknowledge.org

Scholarly Publishing Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
Overview: SPARC is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. Leading academic organizations have endorsed SPARC. (Source: SPARC)

Communication address: SPARC, 21 Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036; e-mail: sparc(at)arl.org

Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives

There are special collections that have been digitalised within most universities and research organisations.

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

  • 29-30 March 2015- Library Publishing Forum 2015, Portland, Oregon, USA.
  • 25 March 2015- "How GW's OA Policy Works for You", George Washington University, USA.
  • 19 March 2015- Open Humanities and Digital Scholarship: Access, Innovation and Support, Boston, MA, USA.
  • 11-12 March 2015- Center for Open Science Workshop, University of California, USA.
  • 10 March 2015- Introduction to Authors' Rights, CUNY, New York, USA.
  • 27 Feb 2015- Open Textbook Workshop, Virginia Tech, USA.
  • 19 Feb 2015- Open Science Workshop, University of Maryland, USA.
  • 17 Feb 2015- Paving the Way for Open Educational Resources, Ohio State University, USA.
  • 12 Feb 2015- How to Share Your Data and Ethically Re-Use Data Created by Others, University of Minnesota, USA.
  • 29-30 Jan 2015- Tackling Textbook Costs Through Open Educational Resources: A Primer, Chicago, USA.
  • 29 Jan 2015- Publishing Choices: Evaluating Traditional and Open Access Journals, George Mason University, USA.
  • Sustainable, Successful Open Data Publication, 9th International Digital Curation Conference, San Francisco, US, February 25 2014.
  • Webcast invitation: Open Access Week Idea Swap, 2011;
  • Berlin9 Open Access Conference: The impact of Open Access in Research and Scholarship 9-10 November 2011, Washington DC is organised jointly by SPARC, Max Planck Society, Association of Research Libraries, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Marine Biological Laboratory.
  • The SPARC 2012 Open Access meeting will be held March 11-13 2012 at the Kansas City Intercontinental Hotel.

List of Publications

Albert, K (2006) Open access: implications for scholarly publishing and medical libraries J Med Libr Assoc.; 94(3): 253–262.

Bastian, J et.al (2011) From Teacher to Learner to User: Developing a Digital Stewardship Pedagogy Library Trends, Volume 59 (4) Spring 2011: 607-622  
DOI: 10.1353/lib.2011.0012

Björk B-C, Welling P, Laakso M, Majlender P, Hedlund T, et al. (2010) Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009. PLoS ONE 5(6): e11273. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011273

Boissy, R., & Schatz, B. (2011). Scholarly Communications from the Publisher Perspective. Journal of Library Administration, 51(5/6), 476-484. doi:10.1080/01930826.2011.589355

De Bellis, N (2009) Bibliometrics and Citation analysis: From the Science Citation Index to Cybernetics. Scarecrow Press: Lanham, MD

Gargouri Y, Hajjem C, Larivière V, Gingras Y, Carr L, et al. (2010) Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13636. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0013636

Dazey, M., & Parks, B. (2010) Thoughts on Open Access: An Interview with Diane Graves. Serials Review, 36(2), 112-115. doi:10.1016/j.serrev.2010.03.002

Greco, A.N. et.al (2007) The Changing College and University Library Market for University Press Books and Journals: 1997–2004 Journal of Scholarly Publishing, Vol 39, (1) October 2007: 265-296.
DOI: 10.1353/scp.2007.0032

Suber, P (2011) Access to dangerous knowledge: reflections on 9/11 ten years later, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, September 2, 2011.

Suber, P (2011) Another US federal OA mandate, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, February 2, 2011.

Suber, P (2006) Open Access in the United States, In Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects (ed. Neil Jacobs, 2006).

Suber, P (2011) Open access in 2010, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, January 2, 2011.

Suber, P SPARC Open Access Newsletter (online newsletter offering news, information and debate on OA issues; updated monthly)

Utter, T & Holley, R. P (2009). The Scholarly Communication Process within the University Research Corridor (Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University): A Case Study in Cooperation. Resource Sharing & Information Networks, 20(1/2), 3-17. Doi: 10.1080/07377790903018444

Van der Veer Martens, B Approaching the Anti-Collection Library Trends, Volume 59, (4) Spring 2011: 568-587 DOI: 10.1353/lib.2011.0021

Vrana, R. (2011) Digital repositories and the future of preservation and use of scientific Informatologia, 44(1), 55-62.

Young, P. (2009). Open access dissemination challenges: a case study. OCLC Systems & Services, 25(2), 93-104. Doi: 10.1108/10650750910961893

Wagner, A. B (2009) A&I, Full Text, and Open Access: Prophecy from the Trenches Learned Publishing, Vol 22, (1) January 2009:  73-74.



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