Open Access

I recognize that the traditional subscription-based model of academic publishing excludes many people from accessing scientific research, and that many researchers do not have funding to cover the substantial open access article processing charges that are levied by many publishers.

For these reasons, I worked to establish open access licenses at WHOI and MIT that enable all members of the scientific community to make the majority of their scientific publications freely accessible through institutional repositories and other venues, regardless of whether they pay an open access fee or publish in a gold open access journal. 

MIT News article: “Thanks to the efforts of Cara Manning PhD ’16, the MIT Libraries, and many others across the Institute, MIT is launching a new way for authors of scholarly articles to legally hold onto rights to reuse and post their articles, and for others to more easily build on that work. As of this month, all MIT authors, including students, postdocs, and staff, can opt in to an open access license.”

Cape Cod Times article: “Cara Manning, a graduate of the joint marine science graduate degree program offered by WHOI and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the impetus for the WHOI policy. She proposed it (and one at MIT that applied to students, in addition to the faculty policy adopted in 2009) after she submitted a paper from her doctoral work based on work funded by the National Science Foundation and was told she would have to transfer the copyright before the article was peer reviewed.”

I presented on these efforts to develop open access licenses at WHOI during Open Access week in October 2016, and the slides are available online:

Additionally, I am a member of the moderation team for EarthArXiv, an open access preprint and postprint server for earth and environmental sciences.

Researchers can find out what rights they will retain for distribution of publications for different journals, depending on whether or not they pay for open access, by visiting Sherpa Romeo. For example, AGU publications allow authors who do not pay an open access fee to distribute the author’s accepted manuscript with no embargo and publish the final, typeset version of record in an institutional repository after a 6-month embargo.

When deciding where to publish and whether to accept an invitation to review or submit an article or attend a conference, I recommend that authors check whether the organization is a predatory publisher (or an aggressive rent extractor with a business model dependent on free labor from academics). One useful resource for evaluating publications is Think. Check. Submit. (and Think. Check. Attend. for conferences).