Making research openly available globally
More than 85,000 items are housed in Virginia Tech’s scholarship repository VTechWorks, including about 35,000 theses and dissertations by Virginia Tech master’s and Ph.D. students and 8,600 peer-reviewed articles. All of these items are freely available to anyone with an internet connection. Faculty, students, researchers, and interested citizens from all over the world download more than 4,000 items a day, up from last year’s average of 3,000 a day.
“This past year, VTechWorks team members have been actively searching for open versions of articles authored by faculty to deposit into the repository to increase reach and findability of Virginia Tech research,” said Philip Young, institutional repository manager. “If a potential collaborator or news reporter is looking for a research article, they can use the search function on the university’s homepage and find a link to it in VTechWorks. Also, a potential graduate student may want to look at what professors publish. Through the Virginia Tech homepage, they can find full text articles written by professors they’re interested in. We’ve indexed the repository with the university’s homepage and other widely used search engines to make as much Virginia Tech research available in one place as possible.”
The key to reaching the goal of findable and accessible Virginia Tech research is encouraging faculty to upload research articles to the repository. That’s where the newly approved scholarly articles open access policy comes in. Virginia Tech authors grant the university nonexclusive license to their scholarly articles in order to make them openly available through the university’s repository.
This policy is a culmination of almost three years of planning, outreach, and implementation by a five-member working group. Two of those members, Ginny Pannabecker and Philip Young, are from the University Libraries, and the other three hail from College of Natural Resources and Environment, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, and the College of Science.