Editor’s Note: In July of 2012, the faculty of the OSU Libraries adopted an open access resolution. Under the terms of this resolution, all faculty librarians agreed to retain certain rights in their published journal articles and submit them to the Knowledge Bank. Today’s blogger, Fern Cheek from the Health Sciences Library, offered to describe her experience complying with the resolution when publishing an article. She has helpfully extrapolated some lessons for the rest of us to keep in mind as we do the same.

I would like to share my first experience regarding author’s rights. My first “wrinkle” in the process was forgetting the fact that library faculty are required to retain rights to be able to deposit the article in the Knowledge Bank. It was the first article that I had written since the mandate went into effect and it was not on my radar at the time. It arose when I was asked to sign the copyright for authors’ agreement from the editor. Now, mind you, the article had not even been accepted at this point.

Lesson #1: Talk to your co-authors

For anyone thinking about co-authoring an article, be upfront with your co-authors about this requirement in the initial discussions. After panic set in, I looked at the Open Access Resolution and emailed Melanie Schlosser for help. She referred me to the OA Resolution – Rights Help available on the Carmen wiki. After reading this information, I plunged ahead to contact my co-author and explain the requirement for the article to go into the Knowledge Bank. Thankfully, she was agreeable and offered assistance to help with the process.
I contacted the publisher, an association publisher, to ask about their policies on institutional repositories. They sent a copy and I proceeded to consult with Melanie and Sandra Enimil to make sure that I understood the requirements.

Lesson#2: Look at journal policies

Look at the copyright policies & author agreements for the journals to which you are considering submitting your manuscripts for publication. This can save you the grief that I was going through and give you an idea about whether it will be a fairly easy process or whether negotiation will be required. If so, time should be allowed for that, so it doesn’t hold up the publication. As luck would have it, the policy was one that allowed me to deposit the article, after a period of embargo. Therefore, if the manuscript was accepted for publication, I would be able to fulfill my faculty requirement.
In the health sciences, it’s more routine than not to co-author. I am just getting starting on a project, as part of a systematic review team, where I’ll be doing the literature searching. I’ve already talked with the primary investigator to let her know about my obligation to deposit the article when accepted. I’ve asked her to send me the list of journals that are being considered for submission of the manuscript.

Lesson #3: Keep the goal in mind

It does not have to be a complicated process if you keep in mind what the goal is, to share the information with a larger audience. If all else fails, you can petition for an exception if the publisher is unrelenting.