Take action

The Library’s power to improve the scholarly ecosystem is extremely limited. The most important decisions impacting scholarly publishing are made by authors, administrators, journal editors, and researchers. Anyone who shares the Library's commitment to sustainable scholarship has the power to act to move scholarly publishing in a better direction. Here are some of the steps people are already taking to promote change from a variety of roles in the scholarly ecosystem:


  • Share your preprints in a disciplinary repository. If your discipline doesn't have an established preprint repository, you can use LibraOpen
  • Publish your articles in Open Access journals, which make the final published version available for free online. Reputable OA journals exist in almost every field. Find guidance and lists at Think, Check, Submit and the Directory of Open Access Journals. The Library supports open access publishing through deals with some publishers. (Note: beware unsustainable Article Processing Charges! Most OA journals do not charge fees at all, some charge reasonable fees, and some journals use their prestige to overcharge. Consider self-archiving rather than paying high fees.)
  • Self-archive your published work if you publish in a subscription journal:
    • Most publishers permit you to share your work, as long as you share the right version and comply with any embargo period. You can check your journal's policy on self-archiving at Sherpa-Romeo
    • If your journal's policy is unclear or inconsistent with sharing, you can negotiate the terms of your author agreement to retain your copyright — the SPARC Author Addendum helps start this conversation.
    • Once you know your rights, share the appropriate version of your work in LibraOpen (and your data in LibraData).

Faculty policymakers

Journal editors and scholarly society members


  • Install browser plug-ins like Libkey Nomad, Open Access Button and Unpaywall that help you find legal free versions of articles online.
  • Familiarize yourself with access services, like interlibrary loan, that can get you the research you need without costly subscriptions.
  • Talk to the library liaison for your discipline about the resources that are most important to you. We can help you get speedy access even in cases where we don't subscribe.