In August 2012, the University Libraries, in partnership with the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Research, began subsidizing article-processing fees for Virginia Tech authors publishing in open access journals. 

Today, the Open Access Subvention Fund continues to help faculty and students publish and disseminate research.

While traditional scholarly journals pose financial and legal barriers to readers, open access journals are scholarly journals that are available online for all readers to access.

“Open access publishing has dramatically changed the landscape of scientific publishing,” said Jianhua Xing, associate professor of biological sciences and an author who published using the fund. “This method of publishing makes it easier to disseminate research to a broader community; however, it usually requires a higher publication cost for authors. The libraries’ fund alleviates this burden on researchers at Virginia Tech.”

The Open Access Subvention Fund supported the publishing of 21 out of 28 submitted articles in 13 journals in the first year of its two-year pilot program. The 55 authors who wrote these articles represent six of Virginia Tech’s eight colleges and one of its research institutes, the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

In addition to representing faculty from every rank, the fund supported articles co-authored by 18 graduate students, four post-doctorate associates, two undergraduates, and one research associate.

“Creating and distributing useful knowledge is a core value that Virginia Tech shares with open access publishing,” said Robert W. Walters, vice president for research.  “While many other universities also believe this is valuable, we have gone to the next level and backed our words with dollars, and in doing so we’re transforming the model of scientific publishing. It’s really exciting to see in the first year of this effort, the fund has helped researchers from emeritus faculty to undergraduate students share their discoveries and make a difference in the world.” 

The published articles supported through the fund are openly available in the university’s repository, VTechWorks.

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