open lockFollowing up on previous postings about the “open” movement in research and education, we refer you to a report in Library Journal’s (9/15/2009)  that five universities — Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, MIT, and UC Berkeley — have spearheaded a campaign to make OA publishing economically viable. They are the first to create and sign on to COPE: compact for open-access publishing equity. They are encouraging other universities to join in, and offering answers to “frequently asked questions about how/why to join.    Aside from the economic issues facing big institutional libraries, the OA model is a social justice issue, ensuring that timely, authoritative research is available to scholars in emerging nations.  The overview section of the COPE site briefly explains the need for such a compact:         

Universities subsidize the costs of subscription journals by subscribing to them. Universities and funding agencies can provide equitable support for the processing-fee business model for open-access journals — to place the subscription-fee and processing-fee models on a more level playing field — by subsidizing processing fees as well.

The compact for open-access publishing equity supports equity of the business models by committing each university to “the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.”

A full account of the motivation for the compact can be found in the article “Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing” published in the open-access journal Public Library of Science Biology


Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (2009). Accessed 9/18/2009.

Hadro J (2009) Five Universities Sign Open Access Funding Compact. Library  (9/15/2009). Accessed 9/18/2009.

Shieber SM (2009) Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing. PLoS Biol 7(8): e1000165. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000165