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U-M joins compact for open-access publishing

By Melissa Levine

The University of Michigan announces its participation in the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE).

COPE is a consortium of universities that support open-access publishing by subsidizing publication fees for open-access journals. Many leading universities and research centers are members of the compact, including Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of Ottawa, Columbia University, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. At the University of Michigan, the program will be administered and funded by the University Library.

“The University of Michigan recognizes the value of open access to scholarly works, and we are proud to join other leading universities in this innovative approach to supporting open-access publication,” said U-M’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Philip J. Hanlon. “Ultimately, it can both reduce our own costs for journal acquisition and can help ensure that the work of our faculty is disseminated as broadly as possible.”

Peer-reviewed, open-access journals provide free electronic access to anyone worldwide, thus maximizing use and promoting learning.  “We are participating because we recognize the importance of open-access journals,” said Paul Courant, U-M Librarian and Dean of Libraries. “Our goal is to provide the broadest possible access to the scholarly record and join our colleagues in an important effort to examine new economic models for scholarly publishing.”

“We hope to raise campus awareness of open-access publishing options and to remove barriers to exercising those options,” added Dean Courant. All University of Michigan faculty, post-doctoral researchers, staff members, and students are eligible and may apply for these funds by filling out a simple form expressing interest.

By joining COPE, the University of Michigan makes a commitment to subsidize authors’ fees. The effectiveness of the program will be evaluated after a two-year trial period.

Peer-reviewed, scholarly articles accepted for publication in open-access journals are eligible for funding.

The Library has developed a set of principles to guide funding decisions for the immediate future listed at

The University is particularly interested in funding articles for which the author retains copyright and that will appear in fully open journals accessible immediately upon publication. The goal is to support as many U-M authors in as many disciplines as possible.

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