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Grand Valley signs international declaration on Open Access

Posted on November 21, 2011

Grand Valley State University is among 33 institutions, associations and foundations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that have signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. The signing was in conjunction with the ninth Berlin Conference, which was held November 9-10 at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

To date, nearly 300 institutions from around the world have signed the declaration, which promotes the Internet as a medium for disseminating global knowledge, making it more accessible to the broad public. North American signatories include leading private research institutions, such as Harvard University and Duke University, non-profit organizations and major library coalitions. For more information, visit

The Grand Valley State University Libraries has already begun building an infrastructure to support the principles of the Berlin Declaration. For example, the Libraries host ScholarWorks@GVSU, an open-access digital repository that collects scholarly, educational, and creative works by Grand Valley faculty, staff and students, and preserves these works, with a static URL, on a long-term basis. The documents in ScholarWorks can be discovered through Google or Google Scholar. In the past year, more than 117,700 items were downloaded from the Grand Valley repository by researchers in 141 countries and in all 50 states.

In addition, the Libraries have set up a grant to support faculty and graduate students who want to publish their scholarship in an established peer-reviewed journal that offers an open access option. For more information, visit

“One of the ways Grand Valley gives back to the community is by ensuring that the research and creative outputs of its faculty and staff are made available to the widest possible audience,” said Lee Van Orsdel, Grand Valley dean of university libraries. “Research that is both peer-reviewed and openly accessible is possible. By signing the Berlin Declaration, Grand Valley joins a growing number of leading institutions who are committed to finding that better way.”


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