Oregon State University

Oregon State University
Oregon State University is a land-grant institution with an enrollment of ~4,100 graduates and ~585 doctoral candidates.
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For Oregon State University, a PeerJ arrangement supports its land grant mission to the citizens of Oregon and beyond.

In December 2013, Oregon State University Libraries & Press entered into an arrangement with PeerJ in which it purchases PeerJ publication plans for OSU researchers. This Case Study explains why.

Why is Open Access important to your institution?

Open Access is very important to Oregon State University as a method for ensuring the widest possible dissemination of its research output. As a land grant university, Oregon State has a fundamental mission to provide education and knowledge to the citizens of Oregon and beyond. By making articles and other research products available to the general public and researchers around the world, Open Access accelerates scientific discovery and scholarly inquiry.

OSU Libraries and Press have played an essential role in moving Open Access forward at Oregon State University. We supported passage of the OSU Open Access policy by the Faculty Senate in 2013, and we manage the institutional repository ScholarsArchive@OSU that provides Open Access to the accepted manuscripts of faculty articles under the Open Access policy. In addition to our support for “green” Open Access through ScholarsArchive@OSU, OSU Libraries and Press also seeks to facilitate publishing in “gold” Open Access journals. This led us to purchase PeerJ publication plans for OSU authors.

What is it about the PeerJ model that interests you?

We find the PeerJ model compelling on several levels. First, we like the publication-plan based economic model as an alternative to high-cost article processing charges. If successful, we believe the PeerJ economic model could inspire similar approaches to Open Access journal publishing in other fields.

Secondly, we appreciate PeerJ’s approach to peer-review. While peer-review is essential to scholarly publishing, new “open” mechanisms are needed to enable this process to have greater impacts on authors and readers alike. PeerJ’s focus on scientific and methodological soundness, along with an emphasis on transparency and the role of reader comments, promises to improve the quality and quantity of the articles it publishes.

What kind of arrangement have you entered into with PeerJ?

OSU Libraries and Press is offering Basic or Enhanced PeerJ publication plans to OSU authors. We hope this arrangement will not only encourage OSU scholars to publish with PeerJ, but also to contribute in other ways by serving as editors, referees, and commenters.

What problem does the PeerJ Arrangement solve for you?

While gold Open Access models with article processing charges can work for scholars with funding sources to pay these fees, this model creates barriers to Open Access publishing for other researchers. We encourage scholars to consider publishing their work though Open Access venues, but do not have sufficient funding to subsidize a large amount of article processing charges. The PeerJ model allows our investment to have a much greater impact via the publication-plans. It greatly lowers the financial cost of entering Open Access publishing while ensuring the journal itself is of high quality.