Access/ibility: Access and Usability for Digital Publishing
Opening the Open Access Conversation
The following statement is intended as a means to start institution-level conversations about commitment to both open access and access/ibility. We recognize that institutional contexts matter, and we hope that individual users will revise, edit, and certainly expand the following statement to reflect local issues.
A Statement of Support for Open Access and Access/ibility
Given that (this institution) values enacting open access as both availability and usability, we acknowledge that part of this effort requires a greater familiarity with Web accessibility guidelines and their transformative effects on current open access values, as well as a willingness to consider the possibility that users from diverse populations would want to participate in production of open access texts. Affirming that Open Access should also allow for individual disciplinary needs, which can also create challenges, we desire to establish a common basis for OA practices at this institution.
Therefore we support:
- (Advocacy) Application of design best practices in a manner that provides allowances for disciplinary- or genre- driven needs for institutional research.
- (Policy) Pursuit of OA scholarship as equivalent to other methods of contributing to scholarly literature, regardless of publication mode.
- (Licensing) The right of authors to select the licensing of their work in the manner best suited to disciplinary needs.
- (Infrastructure) Full accessibility of institutional content (i.e., websites, promotional materials, releases, documentation, etc.), and promoting open access options to researchers.
Access and Usability
When creating or developing Open Access scholarship, authors should design texts in a way that allows all readers to engage with the text, following the best practices for creating accessible digital texts. Authors should provide the basic infrastructure to ensure that the widest range of users can access their work, including transcripts, closed captioning, multiple formats for screen readers, and other mechanisms of access.
Access and Availability
Authors and copyright holders should grant to all users a free, irrevocable, world-wide, perpetual right of access to, and a licence to copy, use, distribute, perform and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works in any digital medium for any reasonable purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship. In order to ensure continued availability, a complete version of the work should be archived in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other organisation that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.
Access and the Scholarly Record
In addition to archiving works in institutional repositories, authors and associated stakeholders should create and enact a sustainability plan that addresses:
- Changes in file formats,
- Archiving of original files,
- Availability, and
To encourage informed conversations, the following existing statements on open access can provide definitions and histories of the movement toward open access publishing:
- Bethesda statement: http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/bethesda.htm
- Budapest statement: http://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/
- Berlin statement: http://openaccess.mpg.de/Berlin-Declaration
- NIH policy: http://publicaccess.nih.gov/
- AAUP statment: http://www.pspcentral.org/commpublicaffairs/attachPubAff-PubIss/statement_open_access.pdf
- International Federation of Library Associations: http://www.ifla.org/publications/ifla-statement-on-open-access-to-scholarly-literature-and-research-documentation