Path to Openly Accessible Scholarship

The Oberlin Group – Path to Openly Accessible Scholarship

Several Oberlin Group institutions have announced that their faculty had voted to support Open Access and embrace the principles of sharing their research widely and maintaining control of their copyrights.  The Oberlin Group has a long history of supporting initiatives to expand Open Access.  Many Oberlin libraries have been members of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) since its inception, and several of our library directors have served on the SPARC steering committee.  

The Oberlin Group has also been influential in gathering the support of our Presidents for federal legislation to establish public access to federally-funded  research.  In 2006, 56 Presidents of Oberlin Group institutions signed a letter in support of the first effort to enact FRPAA (the Federal Research Public Access Act), a bill that would require that virtually all federally-funded research be made publicly accessible. In 2009, 59 Oberlin Group Presidents signed a letter in support of FRPAA as re-introduced in the 112th Congress. Many Oberlin Group institutions also supported legislation, signed into law in 2007, that established the National Institutes of Healthy Public Access Policy (see:

In 2009 Trinity University in San Antonio became the first liberal arts university to endorse Open Access for sharing the scholarly work of their faculty.  Trinity’s faculty action was followed shortly afterward by Oberlin College. They joined prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of Kansas in supporting the open access movement. 

The following Oberlin Group institutions have endorsed a faculty Open Access policy:  

  • Amherst College (2013)  [resolution]
  • Barnard College (library only, 2014)  [policy]
  • Bryn Mawr College (2013)  [policy]
  • Bucknell University (2011)  [policy]
  • College of Wooster (2013)  [resolution, FAQ]
  • Connecticut College (2013) [overview, policy, FAQ]
  • DePauw University (2014)  [policy]
  • Grinnell College (2013)
  • Gustavus Adolphus College (library faculty only, 2009)
  • Hope College (2011)  [policy]
  • Lafayette College (2011)  [resolution, FAQ]
  • Middlebury College (2015)
  • Oberlin College (2009)  [resolution, policy]
  • Rollins College (2010)  [policy]
  • Smith College (2015)  [policy]
  • Trinity University (2009)  [policy]
  • Wellesley College (2013)  [policy]

Additional information can also be found on the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI) on the SPARC web site.

(last updated October 8, 2015)