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Rutgers' University Senate votes to make Rutgers research freely accessible to public

With one vote in mid-October, the Rutgers University Senate moved Rutgers into a growing list of preeminent universities that are expanding access for scholars, and regular citizens, to scholarship produced at their schools.

The Rutgers University Senate is a university-wide deliberative body consisting of representatives of Rutgers faculty, students, staff, administrators, and alumni. The Senate considers matters of general University interest and makes recommendations to the University administration on those matters.

At their October 19th meeting the University Senate overwhelmingly approved a resolution, proposed by the Open Access Subcommittee, that states that the university should "establish, in conjunction with University Counsel, a University-wide Open Access policy wherein Rutgers faculty and scholars, including graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, shall provide open access to all works that are produced without expectation of payment, subject to waivers and embargoes upon request by an individual author for a specific work." In his address to the Senate later in the meeting, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi spoke in support of the resolution.

The open access resolution puts Rutgers on a path to making the scholarly research, scientific discoveries, and intellectual output of Rutgers faculty, post-docs, and grad students readily available to New Jersey citizens and to scholars across the globe. By placing copies of their work in RUcore, the university's institutional open-access repository, Rutgers scholars will place their work in one place at the university where it can be easily discovered by Google, Google Scholar, and other commonly used search engines.

Previous to the adoption of this policy a substantial portion of Rutgers scholarship has been available only in scientific or professional journals that charge steep fees for regular subscriptions or access to specific articles. Adoption of this policy should lead to greater visibility for Rutgers scholarship, increased use of these works by other scholars, and greater acclaim for the university.

Universities such as Harvard, MIT, the University of California at San Francisco, Cornell, Duke, Stanford, Princeton, and the University of Kansas have taken similar steps to open access to their school's scholarship.

Members of the Open Access Subcommittee are Jane Otto, Media and Music Metadata Librarian (Chair); Robert M. Goodman, Executive Dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences; Victor Greenhut, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Jerome J. Kukor, Dean of the Graduate School in New Brunswick; Laura Bowering Mullen, Behavioral Sciences Librarian and Co-Chair of the Rutgers University Libraries Committee on Scholarly Communication; and John Ottomanelli, Ph.D. candidate in Global Affairs in the Graduate School of Newark.

For more information on the effects of the University Senate's open access resolution, or on the RUcore repository developed and maintained by the Rutgers University Libraries, contact Jane Otto at or at 848-445-5950. To read the full University Senate resolution, go to: h

Posted November 14, 2012