Open Access

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries is committed to disseminating the results of research and scholarly activity broadly and with as few access barriers as possible.  We encourage students, faculty, and staff to explore new forms of scholarship, including open access publications, and to make informed decisions about sharing their work.  UT Libraries offers many services to scholars, including the TRACE digital repository, Newfound Press, support for open access publishing, copyright education, and services to help scholars meet new data management and sharing requirements.

UT Library Council (System) Statement on Copyright, Fair Use and Open Access
University Libraries’ Open Access Policy: UT Libraries

What is Open Access?

Open access insures that research and scholarship will be broadly disseminated and discovered.  Open access publishing is:

  1. In digital form
  2. Available via the Internet
  3. Freely available to users

Scholarly open access publishing includes editorial and peer review for quality.  Both open access and traditional publishers vary in quality and impact, which can be measured in a variety of ways.

Open access is a distribution model, not a financial model.  That is, there are commercial open access publishers and nonprofit ones.  Open access publishing is not free to produce, but free to read.  In some cases, institutions bear those costs.  In others, open access publishers charge authors a fee to cover the costs of preparing and distributing their work.

How UT supports Open Access

Open Publishing Support Fund


  • Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange (TRACE) is a UT digital archive to showcase and preserve published and unpublished works by faculty, departments, programs, research centers, and institutes.

Newfound Press

  • Newfound Press is an open access, digital imprint of UT Libraries.


  • BioMed Central
    BioMed Central publishes 252 peer-reviewed open access journals. University of Tennessee Knoxville is a Supporter Member, which means that when you publish in any BioMed Central journal you will receive a 15% discount on the article-processing charge.  Note:  If you log in on the UT network (on campus or via VPN), discounts will automatically be applied.  You may use the BioMed Central discount and apply to the Open Publishing Support Fund.
  • Compact for Open Access Equity (COPE)
    The compact for open-access publishing equity supports equity of the business models by committing each university to “the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.”
    UT became a signatory in March 2013.
  • PeerJ
    PeerJ provides academic with two Open Access publication venues:  PeerJ (a peer-reviewed academic journal) and PeerJ PrePrints (a preprint server). Both are focused on the Biological and Medical Sciences. Q&A Annotations provide a second route to gaining credit for knowledge-sharing.
    At UT, this program is being funded on a trial basis to help determine the level of interest among the faculty we serve. To provide feedback or for more information, please contact Peter Fernandez (
  • Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
    SPARC is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.  SPARC provides a full suite of resources for librarians, authors, publishers, editors, and others who would like to educate themselves and help to create change in the scholarly communication system.

The Open Sandbox

Join us for an exploration of open source digital research tools. Workshops are open to all.

The Open Sandbox is an exploration of open source digital research tools.