Johns Hopkins joins peer institutions, such as Harvard, MIT, and The University of California, by instituting a faculty open access policy. Many funders also require their researchers to make articles publicly available; NIH and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are two examples. There are many reasons for making research articles freely available to any who want to read them; here are a few:

  • openly available research narrows the social inequities surrounding information access
  • US federal agencies want to share the results of research supported by tax dollars with tax payers
  • patient advocacy groups advocate for open access so research is available to patients and families
  • philanthropic funders’ missions often require making the research they fund accessible to individuals and policy makers
  • disciplines like public health and anthropology are committed to sharing their research with the people who participate in that research

The policy asks full-time Johns Hopkins faculty to make their peer-reviewed scholarly articles openly available. There are several ways to accomplish this:

  • publish in an Open Access journal
  • publish in a subscription journal and pay to make the article openly available
  • publish in a subscription journal and submit the author’s final version of your article to an open repository or JScholarship, the Johns Hopkins institutional repository

The Open Access website on the Provost’s site provides an FAQ, a background on Open Access, and a short history of the policy. It also provides a link to the Public Access Submission System, PASS, built by the library development team, to allow faculty to submit their author’s final version of their articles to JScholarship and  PubMed Central, the repository for articles funded by NIH, ACL, ASPR, CDC, VA, FDA, HHMI, and NASA. More repositories will be added to PASS over time, saving faculty time and effort.

Questions, concerns, and suggestions can be directed to Robin Sinn, Coordinator of the Office Scholarly Communication and Caitlin Carter, Scholarly Communication & Open Access Fellow at Welch Medical Library.