Open Access Week: Why Public, Open Access Matters
October 19, 2018

Over the past year, the UT Libraries offered several workshops to help local nonprofits gain temporary access to academic research. Librarians asked participants how their organizations could benefit from open access to the peer-reviewed literature, and here are some of their responses:

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In surveys, local agencies said, “This research connects to people in need . . . “ “Open access ‘keeps us informed of the most recent research in our field. [It is] critically important for implementing effective prevention programming.” “So many nonprofits in this community . . . will never have the money to pay for the research, and they will always need research.” “I had access to all of your research while I was in school, but now when I could use it to support my work and maybe even change the lives of our clients, I have to pay.”

Open access can be achieved in two ways, either by publishing openly or by archiving openly. The Scholars’ Collaborative in the University Libraries provides expertise and infrastructure to achieve open access to research for both paths.

For researchers who like the idea of open access but don’t publish in open access journals, open access is still achievable through open archiving. UT’s open archive is Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange (TRACE), a publicly-accessible repository of research and creative work done by the UT and UTIA research communities. Most publishers allow open archiving. You can publish where you want, then openly archive your work in TRACE.

UT Libraries encourages researchers to publish where you want, then take five steps to make your work open-access in TRACE. Learn more at the TRACE Submission Guide for Individual Authors/Researchers.

Authors who wish to publish in open access journals can apply for UT’s Open Publishing Support Fund, which helps cover open access article processing charges. The fund is co-sponsored by the UT Libraries and the Office of Research. Researchers who want to start an open access journal can have their journal hosted at no cost by the Libraries. Currently, the Libraries host 12 actively publishing open access journals founded by researchers affiliated with UT.

This week, October 22-28, is International Open Access Week. The Libraries hopes UT researchers will keep in mind how public, open access to research increases their audience, improves their citation counts, and benefits the community. As Anita Parkhurst of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, told us, “Not-for-profits, large and small, should be using your work, your research, to help make informed decisions.” Terrence Carter from the Knoxville Area Urban League said, “Open up the research. Please!”

During Open Access Week, the UT Libraries will screen the movie, Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, which examines the journal publishing industry. Join us on October 24th at 4 p.m. in Hodges Library Commons South. The film is also available for anyone to watch at anytime at

For more information about openly archiving your work in TRACE or publishing in open access journals, contact Rachel Caldwell, Scholarly Communication & Publishing Librarian and member of the Scholars’ Collaborative (, 865-974-6107).