Heather Frey

In a move to expand community and public access to academic research, graduate students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa have voted in favor of inclusion in the existing faculty Open Access policy to make their scholarly articles available for free to scholars, educators, policymakers and the public worldwide.

Heather Frey, a PhD student in political science and the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) executive council committee chair for academics, worked with Jennifer Beamer and Sara Lee of Hamilton Library and Nick Shockey of SPARC to make this happen.

Approved by GSO students on April 23, 2015, the motion encourages students to make their scholarly articles publicly available through UH Mānoa’s online repository ScholarSpace, which houses working papers, published articles and other materials produced by faculty, staff and now graduate students.

Widening viewing audience

According to Frey, “ScholarSpace offers a refuge for graduate students in a publishing world managed by powerful publishing houses. With the passing of this policy, UH Mānoa graduate students will now have free and open access to their work forever. Often times graduate students are so consumed with getting their work published they do not consider the rights they are giving away. ScholarSpace will help protect graduate student’s rights to access their work even after it is published. Open Access will also give graduate students a much larger viewing audience and hopefully lead to future collaboration in their area of interest.”

Jennifer Beamer

Beamer added, “Open Access is important as it is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open communication of the results of our research at UH Mānoa is an essential part of the research process; research can only advance by sharing the results with the communities that this institution serves. Often our research is locked up in costly databases and not available to our scholars and their communities.”

The contents of ScholarSpace are searchable and available to search engines such as Google Scholar. The policy encourages student authors to give UH a worldwide, nonexclusive license to exercise the copyright of their scholarly articles as long as the articles are properly attributed to the authors and are not sold for a profit. Faculty and graduate students who wish to publish in open access but are unable, may obtain a waiver for particular articles if the publisher refuses to agree to the conditions of the policy.