Calgary launched its Open Access Authors Fund in 2008, a program that has published 135 research articles from universities around the world, according to COPE. Calgary also caught open-access advocates’ attention when it announced the opening of DSpace, an online repository of scholarly journal works published at the university.

In recent years, even the richest American universities have cut back on journal subscriptions that can cost as much as $20,000 annually, open-access experts said. And as well-known schools throw financial backing behind open-access programs like COPE, these efforts have met with vocal opposition from entrenched interests.

Publishing companies and organizations, including the Association of American Publishers (AAP), have opposed many open-access policies and mandates.

In a 2009 letter to the Obama administration’s transition team, the AAP opposed the National Institutes of Health’s Public Access Policy, which would make NIH-funded research available to the public free of charge in a digital archive.

AAP officials argued that NIH’s open-access model “effectively allows the NIH to unfairly compete directly with private-sector journal publishers in the distribution of peer-reviewed scientific journal articles that are authored by NIH-funded researchers.”

The letter continued: “The NIH mandate thus severely diminishes both the market and copyright protection for these copyrighted works, to which not-for-profit and commercial publishers have made significant value-added contributions, and makes the NIH a free, alternative source of access to these materials in competition with the journal publishers’ subscription or other distribution models.”

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