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Open Access Author Fund supports researchers

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 23rd, 2016

Researchers choosing to publish their work Open Access may be eligible for assistance from the WVU Libraries’ Open Access Author Fund (OAAF). The Libraries established the OAAF in January as part of its commitment to provide open access to scholarly content published by WVU authors for anyone anywhere.

Dr. Peter Giacobbi is among the first faculty members who have benefited from the pilot project.

The Journal of Medical Internet Research published his research protocol for a National Institute of Health-funded project he began working on while at the University of Arizona with principal investigator Dr. Judith Gordon. He and a multi-disciplinary team developed a Smartphone app that assists women with smoking cessation and diet simultaneously.

“The Open Access grant was extremely helpful. Unfortunately, we did not budget in this grant for publications,” Giacobbi said.

Open Access refers to free, immediate, and permanent online access to digital full-text scientific and scholarly material, primarily research articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Because there are limited copyright and licensing restrictions on open-access articles, anyone with Internet access may read, download, copy, and/or distribute them.

A primary advantage for authors who make their articles openly accessible is that their impact is maximized because of a wider audience.

“From my vantage point, I really think open access is a necessary thing for the public,” Giacobbi said. “If you’re being funded by taxpayer money, the public has a right to know about your research and the public needs to see the value of research.”

Giacobbi could be described as a cautious advocate for Open Access. He warns his peers to be aware of predatory journals and educate themselves on the reputable options. For example, look for publications that are peer-reviewed by reputable scientists or connected with established national or international organizations.

In his case, he felt comfortable because the Journal of Medical Internet Research ran his submission through a rigorous review process.

“You have to do your homework,” Giacobbi advises. “Working with a librarian is a key step, one of the first places I’d consult. Their expertise is invaluable.”

OAAF committee member Linda Blake said grants are available for faculty, staff, postdoctoral associates, and students served by WVU Libraries and its regional libraries. Once an author has a manuscript accepted by a qualifying journal, he or she should apply for open-access funds using the application form.

The Libraries’ OAAF committee will review the applications and prioritize them based on criteria for eligibility and available funding. Authors will receive notification of the decision via email within three business days.

For more information about Open Access publishing, visit the Libraries’ website:

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