Open Access Statement

Purpose of statement

The UNLV Libraries is committed to participating in sustainable models of open access as a way to transform the traditional system of scholarly communication. Moving scholarly research away from a paywalled subscription model, to being freely available online, without restriction, is the long-term goal. The benefits of this goal are numerous. Open access facilitates innovation and discovery and creates a more equitable system of knowledge that is open to all. Open access works can be read, cited, and built upon more easily than paywalled research, contributing to a researchers’ impact and profile. Open access will change how scholarly publishing is funded, potentially alleviating the burden of unsustainable resource costs on libraries’ budgets.

The UNLV Libraries will provide open access materials in the Libraries’ collection and support open access publishing efforts of faculty and students and the larger research and publishing community. These open access resources complement traditional resources that are purchased/owned or leased.

This statement document for the UNLV Libraries is intended to supplement the UNLV Libraries current collection development policy and outlines the policies and principles related to open access content. This statement provides information on the identification and selection of open access materials that require financial support from the collections budget.  

Open access collections 

UNLV Libraries selects, acquires, organizes, and manages information resources for access and use by the University community. The UNLV Libraries’ primary clientele are the students, faculty and staff at the University. The development of the Libraries collections is based on the needs of these users for curriculum, research and public service support.  

UNLV Libraries is committed to participating in sustainable models of open access as a way to transform the traditional system of scholarly communication and will lend financial support to open access initiatives (i.e. arXiv) depending on the budget situation. The emphasis for funding will be memberships, projects and initiatives that have long-term impact, showing the potential to shift the scholarly publication ecosystem to an open model. This would include initiatives that aim to convert subscription-based peer-reviewed journals to open, or infrastructure that facilitates the communication of open research.

Financial support for open access resources will be reliant upon the current budget situation. Informed by Lewis et al.,(2018), UNLV Libraries strives to meet the minimum threshold of 1% of the collections budget to support open access initiatives, including Author Processing Charges (APC), Transformative Agreements, such as Read and Publish licenses, infrastructure such as BePress and monetary support for open access collections, such as Knowledge Unlatched.

Guidelines to inform the Collections Committee and content selectors as to what content initiatives may be supported financially are available in a checklist format in the UNLV open access resource criteria page. This document should be reviewed and completed to facilitate decision making.

Relevant open access content identified will be added to the Libraries’ collections in the same way as purchased content. As emphasized above, the content should be in line with our current collection development policy.

Support of each funder resource/initiative will be reassessed on an annual basis to determine if terms of agreement or support (financial or otherwise) are still beneficial to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Currently, UNLV Libraries supports the following open access initiatives with financial contributions:

  • Directory of Open Access Journals - UNLV Libraries is General Contributor. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is an online database that contains over 16,500 peer reviewed online journals in a variety of disciplines including science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities.
  • Knowledge Unlatched - open access initiative making scholarly content freely available and includes over 2,700 electronic books and over 50 online journals.

Open access support for faculty and students

Although UNLV Libraries may not be able to financially support library participation in all open access initiatives, the Libraries support individual author’s efforts to publish open access journal articles.  Specifically, the library supports the UNLV Libraries Open Article Fund Access Publishing Fund. This effort provides support for UNLV faculty authors who wish to publish their research in fully open access journals. The fund has inspired additional support from campus for the Minority Serving Institution fund, which is awarded to graduate student authors publishing in open access journals.

Additionally, the library supports Digital Scholarship@UNLV, the institutional repository. The repository includes openly and publicly accessible content such as theses and dissertations, faculty research articles, journals published at UNLV, and more. More recently, the Libraries has begun including open access negotiations in our journal subscription renewals. For UNLV authors, this means discounted or free open access publishing, depending on the agreement.


Lewis, D., Goetsch, L., Graves, D., & Roy, M. (2018). Funding community controlled open infrastructure for scholarly communication: The 2.5% commitment initiative. College & Research Libraries News, 79(3), 133. doi:

Last updated 4/28/2022

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