Sustainable Open Scholarship Working Group

Completed 2021 Initiative


The collections of the Libraries are the result of more than one hundred and thirty years of commitment to building one of the great library collections in the world. With the advent of digital technologies and the internet, our libraries entered a period of transition to meet the evolving needs of users, and to integrate with new approaches to teaching, learning, and research. The publishing industry has taken advantage of this transition to build a model for access that requires ever-increasing costs and restrictions on university-generated innovation that impedes access to the latest developments in all fields of research. The recent health crisis has accelerated the digital shift to online learning and teaching, and accompanying economic impacts on higher education make it more critical than ever to effectively move the Libraries toward a more open and sustainable future.

The confluence of these circumstances makes it imperative that public scholarship is immediately available for all-access, that publishing costs and licensing fees are contained, that data sources are open to researchers, and that authors retain their rights.

In response to relevant recommendations from the Task Force on the Future of UT Libraries commissioned by the Provost’s Office in 2018, the Provost has launched this working group on Sustainable Open Scholarship to address these and other impacts on the effectiveness of open scholarship at UT.

Goals and Objectives

To engage campus in the development and articulation of strategies for how the University of Texas Libraries can transform access to information resources in support of the educational and research missions of The University of Texas at Austin.

  • Develop an open access policy that reflects the university’s commitment to advance open sustainable scholarship practices for review and approval by the Faculty Council;
  • Engage researchers to develop campus-wide strategies to support access, use, and curation of primary research data based on FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable);
  • Articulate strategies that accelerate efforts to promote open resources, technology and teaching practices in education.
  • Explore existing frameworks/models/MoUs of negotiations with publishers to support or develop a set of guiding principles for negotiating UT’s contracts that support open-access practices with scholarly publishers.


Co-chair: Francesco Maggi, Professor, Department of Mathematics, College of Natural Sciences
Co-chair: Somshuvra Mukhopadhyay, Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy

Invited Members:
Miroslava Benes
, Associate Professor, School of Architecture
Abraham Wickelgren, Professor, School of Law
Marvin Hackert, Associate Dean and Professor, Graduate School / Department of Molecular Biosciences, College of Natural Sciences
Tracy Villareal, Professor, Department of Marine Science, College of Natural Sciences
Dawn Durante, Editor in Chief, University of Texas Press
Jim Kuhn, Associate Director for Library Division, Harry Ransom Center
Margaret Schlankey, Head of Reference Services, Briscoe Center for American History
John Hatfield, Professor, Department of Finance, McCombs School of Business
Ashwin Desai, undergraduate student, McCombs School of Business (Finance)
Colleen Lyon, Head of Scholarly Communications, UT Libraries

Engage campus constituencies to facilitate a deeper understanding of the unsustainability of the current system and the benefit of immediate access to scholarship to advance UT’s research and discoveries that will change the world.

Outcome: Develop a statement of values around open access that reflects UT’s commitment to advance sustainable open scholarship practices.



Chair: Jen Ebbeler, Associate Professor, Department of Classics, College of Liberal Arts
Co-chair:  Leticia Moczygemba, Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy

Invited Members:     
Niall Gaffney, Director for Data Intensive Computing, Texas Advanced Computing Center
Lorenzo Sadun, Professor, Department of Mathematics, College of Natural Sciences
Ji Ma, Assistant Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Rick Nornholm, Director of Campus Solutions, Information Technology Services
Jessica Church-Lang, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
Ellen Rathje, Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
Lars Hinrichs, Associate Professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts
Mikael Rubin, graduate student, College of Liberal Arts (Psychology)
Jessica Trelogan, Research Data Services Coordinator, UT Libraries
Michael Shensky, GIS and Geospatial Data Coordinator, UT Libraries
Aaron Choate, Director of Research and Strategy, UT Libraries

Charge: Engage researchers to identify disciplinary needs for data management, access, use and re-use, preservation and curation of primary research data based on FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

Outcome: This work will help shape best practices and campus-wide strategies for managing research data at scale.

Co-chair: Sara Sweitzer, Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, College of Natural Sciences

Co-chair: Carl Blyth, Associate Professor, Department of French and Italian, College of Liberal Arts

Invited Members:
Amanda Hager
, Associate Professor of Instruction, Department of Mathematics, College of Natural Sciences
Danny Law, Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts
Tim Fackler, Director of Instructional Technology, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services
Alcess Nonot, undergraduate student, College of Natural Sciences (Human Development & Family Sciences)
Ashley Morrison, Tocker Open Education Librarian, UT Libraries
Matthew Russell, Faculty Development Specialist, Faculty Innovation Center

Charge: Raise understanding, awareness, and value of adopting, adapting, and/or developing open educational resources within UT community, particularly amongst faculty and graduate students.

Outcome: Articulate strategies that promote open resources, technology and open pedagogy where faculty can be made comfortable with that option.

Co-chair: Barbara Bintliff, Professor, School of Law and Director, Tarlton Law Library/Jamail Center for Legal Research

Co-chair: Hirofumi Tanaka, Professor, Department of Kinesiology & Health Education, College of Education

Proposed Members:
Andrea Gore
, Professor, College of Pharmacy
Jennifer Maedgen, Senior Associate Vice President, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
Vagheesh Narasimhan, Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, College of Natural Sciences
Alexia Thompson-Young, Assistant Director of Scholarly Resources, UT Libraries
Imelda Vetter, Health Sciences Librarian, Dell Medical School
Ebony Robles, Associate Business Contracts Administrator, Financial and Administrative Services ex officio
Steve Rosen, Associate Vice President, Office of Legal Affairs, ex officio

Charge: Explore existing frameworks/models/MoUs of library negotiations with publishers.

Outcome: Develop a set of guiding principles for negotiating UT’s contracts that support sustainable open scholarship practices with scholarly publishers.

Sustainable Open Scholarship (SOS) Feedback Form

If you have feedback for the SOS Working Group, you can submit information below.

Feedback Form
Task Force Final Report & Recommendations

Final report from the task force.

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Faculty Guide to Use of Open Educational Resources (OER)

Guidance for faculty on Open Educational Resources with frequently asked questions.

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