Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln



Paul Royster

Date of this Version



Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 1(2):eP1045.


© 2012 Royster. This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, which allows unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


For most of the past seven years I had thought I was working to promote open access to academic scholarship and creative works. I helped place more than 40,000 articles and documents in a freely accessible repository, from which they could be (and were) browsed, downloaded, saved, printed, and linked to.

But I find now that these efforts failed to meet the standards of the open access advocates as represented by (among others) SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a library membership organization formed and sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries. As was made excruciatingly clear at the March 2012 SPARC meeting in Kansas City, providing unlimited free access to materials is not enough to constitute “open access:” one must also supply unrestricted rights to re-use the materials. I left the convention in a huff, feeling that those of us who operate institutional repositories under the present ground rules had just been thrown under the bus.