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Take Action

PACT is committed to making access to research more sustainable, affordable, transparent and open. Here are actions that individuals can take as authors, researchers , educators, and members of the scholarly community.


As an Author

Own your copyright

The single most important step you can take is to retain copyright in your own publications! Most publishing contracts ask you to sign copyright over to the publisher, effectively giving up rights to your own work. These contracts are often negotiable. Learn more about author rights.

Publish in open access journals

There are reputable open access journals in nearly every field. Find guidance and lists at Think, Check, Submit and the Directory of Open Access Journals. The UMD Libraries' Open Access Publishing Fund provides financial assistance to UMD faculty, researchers, and students to publish in open access journals. Get inspired by Open Access Fund success stories from faculty who have published through the Fund.

Deposit your research in an open access repository

Open access makes your article easier for scholars to find, use and cite. The Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM) allows all members of the Maryland community to deposit, preserve and share their research output. Other reputable repositories for various disciplines include PubMed Central, arXiv, bioRxiv, PsyArXivSocArXiv and OSF Preprints.

As a Researcher

Leverage the Open Science Framework 

Consider making your research projects more discoverable, open, and reusable by leveraging UMD's portal on the Open Science Framework. Learn more about this research project management and publication tool, provided in partnership with the University of Maryland Libraries and the Division of Research.

Identify important content sources for your discipline

Begin a conversation with the subject specialist librarian for your discipline about the most important content sources in your area. Even if Maryland does not subscribe to a given title, there are many ways we can get articles to you quickly.

Install a browser plug-in to find open access articles

Browser extensions such as Open Access Button and Unpaywall are free and legal ways to locate open access literature.

Ask a colleague

Many researchers are happy to provide a copy of their articles upon request. Sites such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu can facilitate legal scholarly sharing, but are not without disadvantages.

Get to know interlibrary loan

When UMD's libraries don’t have an article you need, we are happy to get it for you at no cost to you, and deliver it straight to your inbox. Learn more about interlibrary loan services.

As an Educator

Select open textbooks for your courses

Challenge traditional pedagogical practices and make learning more affordable for your students. Learn more about open textbooks and the Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) Initiative.

Design a syllabus using Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Explore the many resources and databases available to find subject-specific OER. Reach out to your subject librarian for assistance in locating relevant, quality OERs for your courses.

Create your own OER.

Contribute to the OER movement by sharing resources you create, such as lessons, assignments, assessments, or activities, with educators around the world through sites like OER Commons.

As a member of the scholarly community

Prioritize quality research over prestige of the journal

Encourage your department and discipline to be clear about publishing criteria for appointment, promotion and tenure decisions. Learn about criticisms of journal impact factors are why they are a poor way to assess research quality.

Review your association’s publishing contract

Many scholarly societies and associations contract publication of their journals to large commercial publishers. Yet university presses and other outlets may offer more favorable terms for authors, better deals for societies and more affordable pricing for institutions.

Transition your journal to open access

Consider working with your scholarly society to make its journal open access. 

This content is adapted from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries (Take Action), content licensed under a Creative Commons Attritbution 4.0 International License.