Global Open Access to Scholarly Work Thriving at the University of San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 2, 2018) -- University of San Francisco (USF) community members can now submit their scholarship, creative work, and research – including journal articles, conference presentations, proceedings, working papers, theses and dissertations – to an institutional repository that provides free, immediate online access to the work. The USF Scholarship Repository also gives all USF community members free access to work by researchers and scholars publishing around the world. The repository is hosted by the USF Gleeson Library | Geschke Center in collaboration with the Dorraine Zief Law Library. The repository has existed since 2007, but received major support and visibility after the USF Faculty Association Policy Board passed an open access policy this spring. It is the second open access policy to be passed at a private institution in California (Caltech has a similar policy), and the first by any Jesuit college or university in the nation. While the University of California system has open access policies, the California state institutions and community colleges do not.

“Our open access policy follows the model implemented by Harvard, MIT, and the UC system in bringing equitable access to research to all,” says Charlotte Roh, scholarly communications librarian.

Further, says Tyrone Cannon, dean of the university library, the policy aligns with USF’s vision, mission and values. “Open access demonstrates what USF stands for – that is, as we read in our mission statement: “to create, communicate and apply knowledge to a world shared by all people and held in trust for future generations.”

Commenting on the open access policy, Sonja Martin Poole, associate professor in the School of Management and president of the USFFA, said: “This is a precedent-setting move by the Policy Board of the USFFA. By opening research publications to everyone, not just the well-resourced, we are breaking the power of very exclusive oligopolies.”

She added: “The current business model of big journals is straining university library budgets and limiting the flow of knowledge through their high subscription rates. Hopefully this move will increase the pressure on the knowledge gatekeepers and help shift the focus away from where we publish to what we publish. I am proud that we are taking the lead on changing the status quo.”

Claire Sharifi, USF research librarian, reports that downloads and usage rates have been steadily increasing during the time the open access repository service has been operational. “The opportunities offered by this robust tool with a global reach are without limits,” she said. “Students and faculty alike benefit immediately – and that will only grow in the months and years ahead.” The USF repository is also equipped with a professional-grade peer-review/editorial management system that provides professional digital journal publishing and conference events management services for the university community. All members of the University of San Francisco community are invited to contribute their scholarship and research outcomes to the repository. For more information, visit the USFCA Repository.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World From Here.” For more information, visit usfca.edu.