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Open Access Policy for Luther Seminary: Home

Open Access Policy

The Faculty of Luther Seminary is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, the Faculty adopts the following policy: Each Faculty member grants to Luther Seminary permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles. More specifically, each Faculty member grants to Luther Seminary a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same. The policy applies to all scholarly articles authored or co-authored while the person is a member of the Faculty except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy. The Academic Dean will waive application of the license for a particular article or delay access for a specified period of time upon express direction by a Faculty member.

Each Faculty member will provide an electronic copy of the author’s final version of each article no later than the date of its publication at no charge to the appropriate representative of the Library in an appropriate format (such as PDF) specified by the Library.

The Library may make the article available to the public in an open-access repository. The Office of Academic Dean will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to the Faculty from time to time. The policy will be reviewed after three years and a report presented to the Faculty.

Approved October 11, 2017

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of the policy?

In addition to promoting access to the scholarship of Luther Seminary faculty, the policy helps simplify and expedite the process of publication and deposit.


Why make this a blanket policy?

This creates a unified action and position on behalf of all faculty at Luther Seminary and should reduce the need for individual authors to negotiate distribution rights.


Is Luther Seminary trying to take the rights to my scholarship?

No. You, as the author of the article, own the copyright unless and until you assign it to someone else. The license in the policy is primarily permission from you, the copyright holder, for Luther Seminary to make a version of your work available in our Digital Commons.


Will the policy affect where I can publish my work?

No. The policy does not mandate or forbid publication in any particular journal.


What if the policy is in conflict with my publisher’s policies?

Luther Seminary will grant a waiver for any given article to any faculty who request it. The library is also willing to help negotiate with your publisher (especially if they don’t have a formal policy). In some cases, the publication agreement will explicitly include a question about whether your institution or funding agency has an open access policy.


What does a publisher policy look like?

Example: “SAGE Publishing is a green publisher: we encourage self-archiving. If you publish in a SAGE Publishing open access journal the final published version can be archived in institutional or funder repositories and can be made publicly accessible immediately. Authors who have published in a subscription journal can do this by depositing the version of the article accepted for publication (version 2) in their own institution’s repository.”


What is the process for submitting an article under this policy?

First, you would determine the latest version of the article permitted by your publication agreement (this policy states the “author’s final version” which is considered the post-peer review version but some publishers may allow the final published version or require an embargo). Second, you could either email it to the library or submit it yourself into Digital Commons. The library will add or verify appropriate citation information to the published work so that readers could find the final published version.


Does this just cover articles and not books?

Yes. “scholarly articles” would primarily cover articles published in a journal. Many publishers also allow deposit of essays in books and articles in dictionaries/encyclopedias as well. Books are not covered in the policy.