Take Action

VCU Libraries is committed to making access to research more sustainable, affordable, equitable and open. Anyone who shares VCU Libraries’ commitment to sustainable scholarship has the power to act to move scholarly publishing in a better direction. Here are some of the steps VCU authors and researchers can take to promote change in the scholarly ecosystem:

  • Explore the publishing options at VCU Publishing.
  • Publish your articles in Open Access journals, which make the final published version available for free online. Reputable OA journals exist in almost every field. 
  • Self-archive your work if you publish in a subscription journal:
    • Most publishers permit you to share your work, as long as you share the right version and comply with any embargo period. You can check your journal's policy on self-archiving at Sherpa-Romeo.
    • If your journal's policy is unclear or inconsistent with sharing, you can negotiate the terms of your author agreement to retain your copyright — the SPARC Author Addendum helps start this conversation.
  • Once you know your rights, share the appropriate version of your work in VCU’s institutional repository, Scholars Compass.
  • If you already publish Open Access, spread the word to your colleagues and students. The annual Open Access Week in October may be a great time to intentionally share the word. If you create open educational resources, take advantage of Open Education Week in March to create awareness.
  • If you are a journal editor, “Declare Independence” and make your journal open access.
  • If you belong to a scholarly society, ask if there are plans to transition your society journals to open.
  • Familiarize yourself with alternative access options like interlibrary loan that can get you the research you need without costly subscriptions.Install browser plug-ins like Open Access Button and Unpaywall that help you find legal free versions of articles online.