Answered By: Ana Enriquez
Last Updated: Feb 03, 2020     Views: 50

Penn State's open access policy, AC02, applies to "scholarly articles" only. The policy defines "scholarly article" as follows:

an article that describes the fruits of University Researcher’s research and that they give to the world for the sake of inquiry and knowledge without expectation of payment. Such articles are typically presented in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and conference proceedings.

Even with this definition, it can sometimes be unclear whether a particular publication constitutes a scholarly article. For example, commentaries, opinion pieces in scholarly journals, and explanations of research findings to practitioners can all describe research, but they aren't necessarily protoypical "scholarly articles."

For publications on the edge of the policy, you may wish to:

  1. Make the work open: Even if the publication isn't squarely within the "scholarly article" definition, we are happy to help you make it open. Note that university policy also supports this, since a related guideline, ACG02, encourages members of the university to make works not covered by the policy open.
  2. Get a waiver: If you think your work might be a "scholarly article" and you don't want to make it open, you can always get a waiver, no questions asked.

With questions about the open access policy, please contact the Libraries' Office of Scholarly Communications and Copyright.

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