unlock icon Open Scholarship at IU


Our Mission

The Scholarly Communication Department at IU Bloomington Libraries provides infrastructure and services to support the IU community in creating, sharing, and preserving their scholarly work. We believe that equitable access to data, research, and information is foundational to the production of knowledge and are dedicated to supporting this principle within the IU community.

What is Open Scholarship?

More pointedly, what qualifies as “scholarship” and how “open” does that output need to be? Within the Scholarly Communication Department we use the term scholarship to be inclusive of all of the ways that scholars communicate. While traditionally this has been through journal articles and books, it also includes research data, learning objects and teaching materials, conference proceedings, new and innovative publications and publication formats, and new platforms and methods for sharing. The communications landscape now includes repositories, data enclaves, social networks, blogs, websites, and self-publishing platforms.

Similarly, there are many different ways to make research open - see the “How Open Is It?” spectrum authored by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Public Library of Science (PLoS). The department’s goal is to support making your work open regardless of where it falls on the open spectrum, respecting your agency and authority.

Find our more about venues for open data sharing and open publishing.

Why Open?


A commitment to open access ensures that knowledge and research will continue to contribute to progress and understanding about the world. In our digital age, scholarship can more easily be locked behind artificial obstructions that hinder the circulation and production of knowledge. Open access, on the other hand, upholds the principle that knowledge should not be limited by geographical and socioeconomic barriers, and that all researchers, regardless of circumstance, should be able to read, cite, and engage with your work. You play an important role in furthering the democratization of knowledge production!

Author Rights:

Open scholarship isn’t only about openly available content. It’s also a commitment to help authors retain their author rights. Often, researchers permanently transfer their rights to publishers in order to be published in high-impact journals and books. We help authors negotiate these agreements and think critically about how they want their work to be used in perpetuity so that they sign an agreement that aligns with their goals and values. When authors retain copyright, they can use their work in their own teaching, distribute their articles to colleagues and students, and upload their work on their personal website or institutional repository.


Publishing open access means that your work can be immediately accessible to everyone, increasing the number of potential readers as well as citation rates. Your work can be freely used in courses as an open educational resource, and data you make open can facilitate reproducibility of results. You get attribution whenever your work is re-used. Check out our Impact page for a consultation on how open access can increase engagement with your work.