Back in November of 2011, the CUNY University Faculty Senate passed a Statement and Resolution on Open Access – a resolution which supported the establishment of a CUNY-wide open access institutional repository and which has been a guiding document in the development of that repository, from its collections policies to its mission and goals:
CUNY Academic Works is a service of the CUNY Libraries dedicated to collecting and providing access to the research, scholarship and creative work of the City University of New York. In service to CUNY’s mission as a public university, content in Academic Works is freely available to all.
CUNY Academic Works aims to:
- Provide centralized, public access to the scholarly and creative output of the students, faculty, and staff of the City University of New York.
- Promote research and collaboration within and between the twenty-four campuses that make up the City University of New York, as well as the larger public.
- Preserve the history and development of the City University of New York.
While the mission and goals of Academic Works are clearly stated, it’s understandable that the first steps to meeting them can feel a little uncertain. Therefore, in order to support the Libraries as we embark on the trail to a more open CUNY, the Office of Library Services communicated three actionable goals for our first 18 months:
- In 6 months, 50% of institutions will have at least one collection in the repository
- In 12 months, 100% of institutions will have at least one collection in the repository
- In 18 months, CUNY Academic Works will have 15,000 items representing diverse content types and disciplines
Sound familiar? OLS has been busy getting the word out about Academic Works since the kick-off this March, and, less than four months later, CUNY Libraries has met its first goal. In fact, we passed it. Thanks to the commitment and hard work of CUNY librarians, eighteen (count ’em, 18!) of twenty-four institutions have their first collections in the repository within four months. And these initial collections have us well on our way to meeting the 18 month goal; they include 2,500+ items spanning from traditional journal publications and monographs to data sets, student work, open educational resources, and archival collections that capture the history of the University.
CUNY enters the scholarly communication landscape at an exciting time. It’s a time that some find reminiscent of the wild west (and it certainly has its good, its bad, and its ugly), but it’s also a time in which CUNY has the opportunity to pioneer the way.