What is Open Access?

Open Access is an international movement that has the goal of making peer-reviewed published scholarship available free of charge to the public and to the global scholarly community.

For additional reading about open access in general we recommend Wikipedia's well-referenced Open Access article.


  • KU Open Textbooks Informational Meeting

    KU Libraries' Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright invites KU faculty, staff and students to attend a strategic discussion on Wednesday, November 4, from 4-5pm in Watson Library, Rm. 455 to consider the issues around the high cost of academic texts and projects underway locally and nationally to address these issues. At this session, we will discuss the current and future state of the adoption, adaption, and building of Open Educational Resources (including open textbooks) at KU and gather ideas for shaping spring semester programs for various campus communities focused on these issues. Please see the meeting agenda and RSVP to Sean Barker (smbarker@ku.eduto ensure that enough seats are available.

  • Open Access Week 2015 Events (#KUopenaccess)

    KU Libraries' Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright is pleased to bring you a series of events in celebration of International Open Access Week, October 19-25, 2015. We join institutions from around the world in celebrating innovation in sharing scholarly information and the resulting benefits. This year’s theme is “Open for Collaboration,” and we kick off the celebration on Friday, October 16, with a lecture by UK-based humanities scholar and open access advocate Dr. Martin Paul Eve.

  • KU Libraries joins Open Textbook Network

    KU Libraries will be represented at the first meeting of the Open Textbook Network (OTN), Aug. 5-7, to address the challenge of increasing awareness of open textbooks, which can save students hundreds of dollars per semester.

    Leaders representing more than 75 colleges and universities across the country will convene on the Twin Cities campus to develop strategies for advancing open textbook programs on their campuses. Participants will also gain expertise in helping faculty understand the negative impact high textbook costs can have on students' academic performance.

  • KU Libraries joins Open Library of Humanities

    KU Libraries is now a contributor to the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), a peer-reviewed gold open access platform for the humanities that aims to provide free online access to scholarship, including the OLH mega-journal (a new trans-disciplinary space for humanities work) and five other journals, which will launch in September 2015. 

Open Access @ KU

The number of researchers to date that have signed the pledge not to publish, review, or serve on editorial boards for Elsevier journals

The number of scholarly communities in KU ScholarWorks

The number of times that the most popular KU ScholarWorks item--THE ROLE OF ADAPTOR PROTEIN GADS IN CD8+ T CELL-MEDIATED IMMUNITY--has been downloaded or viewed since 2007

The year that the KU Open Access Policy was approved by the Faculty Senate

The number of times that items in KU ScholarWorks have been downloaded since 2007

The number of searches performed in KU ScholarWorks since 2009

(and growing) The number of dissertations and theses in the Pre-1923 Dissertations and Theses collection at http://hdl.handle.net/1808/7158

KU Faculty's Open Access Policy

The KU Faculty Open Access Policy (revised and passed the faculty senate on February 11, 2010) is a mechanism that asserts the rights of KU faculty to provide broad, free access to their journal publications to colleagues around the world.

Under the policy, KU faculty can exercise these rights by retaining enough copyrights and once rights are retained provide KU with the necessary bibliographic information and a copy of the publication. KU then provides efficient and effective access to these publications by means of KU ScholarWorks.  If a publisher requires a faculty member to opt out of the policy for a specific article, the author may submit an Open Access Policy Waiver Form.

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  • Sean Barker
    Project Manager
    Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright, KU Libraries

  • Josh Bolick
    Scholarly Communication Librarian
    Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright, KU Libraries

  • Ada Emmett
    Associate Librarian
    Director, Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright, KU Libraries

  • Marianne Reed
    Digital Initiatives Coordinator
    IT & Discovery Services, KU Libraries

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times