Approved by the Academic Senate, February 20, 2007



  • Publication in open access journals—which are free and accessible to all readers on the World Wide Web—is an increasingly effective mode of scholarly communication;
  • Commercial ownership of scholarly publishing is detrimental to the dissemination of research and scholarship when publication decisions are based on profit;
  • Faculty cede control of their research results and scholarship when they transfer copyright to their publishers;
  • The University must buy back at increasingly high costs the published products of the research and scholarship that it subsidizes;
  • Students’ curriculum suffers when increasing prices make appropriate journal support for coursework and research too expensive to buy;
  • Faculty can help change the scholarly publishing marketplace because publishers rely on faculty to serve as readers, authors, editors, referees, and as members of learned societies;

Therefore be it resolved that the Academic Senate supports alternatives to commercial ownership of scholarly publishing.  The Senate urges the University to promote open access in ways consistent with standards of peer review and scholarly excellence including the following measures: 

  1. Faculty authors are encouraged to negotiate certain key rights to ensure wide dissemination of their work without harming the publisher’s rights, such as the right to a) post the work on a personal Web site or in an institutional repository, and b) distribute copies in the course of teaching.
  2. Faculty, especially tenured faculty, are encouraged to support peer-reviewed open access journals and journals published by nonprofit professional associations, university presses, and those commercial publishers with fair pricing.
  3. The library, in consultation with respective departments, is expected to cancel high-priced journals with minimal readership on campus, to negotiate aggressively with publishers, to take collective action, and to refuse to pay unsustainable prices.
  4. The university will explore establishing infrastructure to sustain digital open access to scholarship, such as an open access institutional repository or archives where research results, NMU theses, and scholarship can be posted.
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