One key reason universities and libraries exist is to share ideas and information. The University Libraries at Virginia Tech has a commitment to sharing ideas, research, and scholarship as openly as possible. We value creation of openly accessible educational resources, open access (OA) publishing, and open knowledge initiatives. This page is a starting point for discovering the wealth of open resources.

Public domain day, 1.25.19

January 1, 2019 marked public domain day for the first time in 20 years in the U.S. As a result, thousands of cultural heritage items, works of art and literature, recordings, cartoons, photographs, and videos legally entered the Public Domain and became free to use, perform, distribute, adapt and share without permission or restriction. Happy Public Domain Day!

While we will still have to wait until January 2020 to make no-permissions use of Bianchi’s 1924 The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson and January 2024 when the 1928 version of Mickey Mouse as seen in Steamboat Willie enter the public domain -- barring trademark complications -- this year is still cause for celebration.

We welcome works from 1923 to the Public Domain, including, “The Ten Commandments” by Cecil B. DeMille, “Stopping by Woods in an Snowy Evening” in New Hampshire by Robert Frost, Charlie Chaplain’s film, The Pilgrim, Dorothy Sayers “Three for Lord Peter Wimsey” and many others.

For more information see Center for the Study of the Public Domain, the Library of Congress blog on public domain works, and the University Libraries’ guide on the Public Domain:

Browse the 53,000+ volumes of works newly in the Public Domain in the U.S. indexed by Hathi Trust.

- Anita Walz CC BY 4.0

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Many Open related events and workshops can be found posted on NLI. For more events and recordings of past events see: 

Tools that encourage open research, e.g. Open Science Framework, Overleaf, ORCID, VT Githubopen repositories, open dataset sources, open source software communities (Software Carpentry).

OA search tools that can help find openly available research:  OA Button and Unpaywall (browser extension for Chrome and Firefox).

OA Subvention Fund

The open access subvention fund (OASF) in the University Libraries at Virginia Tech subsidizes article processing fees for scholarly peer-reviewed articles accepted for publication in open access or hybrid OA journals. OA fees are often also reduced through discounts offered by University Libraries' memberships and subscriptions. Interested authors should begin by reviewing the VT OASF Guidelines and then completing the Open Access Subvention Fund request form. For more information contact Gail McMillan (Director, Scholarly Communication):

Open Education Initiative Faculty Grants

Open Education Initiative Faculty Grants encourage the use of existing and creation of new openly licensed information resources to support student learning. Virginia Tech faculty are invited to apply for competitive grants up to $3,000. Additional literature on open educational resources and example projects are available in the Open Education Lib Guide. For complete information on the Open Education Initiative Grants, please download the Grants Information document. To apply visit the online application. For more information contact Anita Walz (Open Education, Copyright & Scholarly Communication Librarian):

TOME OA Monoagraph Initiative

Virginia Tech is one of 12 participating universities in TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem), which was launched in 2017 by the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of University Presses (AUP) to support the publication of open access, digital monographs. TOME is designed to advance the wide dissemination of long-form, peer-reviewed scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members. Click here for more information on Virginia Tech’s role in TOME.

VT Publishing is committed to increasing the visibility, reach, and impact of research produced at Virginia Tech. Through VT Publishing, faculty, staff, and students can publish a wide range of openly-licensed scholarly and educational materials including journals, books, textbooks, and born-digital online projects. VT Publishing also consults on all aspects of publishing regardless of an author’s intended publisher.

The VT Commission on Research’s Open Access Policy Working Group has proposed a draft policy that gives  faculty the legal right to deposit their accepted manuscript of a scholarly article in the university repository, VTechWorks.  This will maximize the dissemination of research and benefit authors and the university. For more information on the Open Access Policy look for NLI Sessions or contact Philip Young (Institutional Repository Manager):

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