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Merrimack ScholarWorks

Information about Merrimack ScholarWorks (MSW), Merrimack College's Institutional Repository

SPARC Author Addendum

From the SPARC website:
"SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship"

Open Access

"Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." Peter Suber, Open Access.

"Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment." Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

Open access mandates are policies adopted by research institutions (colleges/universities, funding agencies, government agencies, etc.) that require authors to archive their research output in a repository that is freely accessible. The goal of an open access mandate is to promote free access to quality research to as wide of an audience as possible.

Here are some examples of research institutions and funding agencies with open access mandates:

  • Connecticut College
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Science Foundation
  • University of Rhode Island

For a complete list of institutions with open access mandates, click on links below. 

A down-side to the growing trend of open access publishing is a rise in online predatory publishers, seeking monetary gain as their sole purpose.  These are publishers that do not follow the ethical and professional practices of legitimate open access journals.  Often they have no clear editorial board, no established peer-review process, few publication policies, and little or no contact information. You may encounter predatory journal publishers in a number of  ways, but here are some of the most common:

  • After creating a journal which is not peer-reviewed or edited, publishers spam researchers with offers to publish their work for a fee.  In some cases, the fee occurs as an invoice after the article is published. 
  • Frequently they will contact new authors (particularly graduate/undergraduate student authors) and offer to publish work in exchange for the copyright. They then post the work on Amazon or other sites and print a copy on demand for anyone who orders it (usually almost no one).

If you receive a "too good to be true" communication about your scholarship, be wary. Listed below are some resources to help you avoid predatory journals. Librarians are happy to help investigate the legitimacy of any publication. 

For questions or feedback contact the McQuade Library
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