Upcoming federal mandates/policies and Clemson Elevate will require a robust campus data infrastructure that will support researchers plan, implement, generate, and disseminate findings of their research and scholarship as widely as possible for local, national, and global impact.  Major upcoming data changes and needs include:

  • Clemson Elevate’s second pillar is doubling research by 2035, for which the university needs to develop a world-class research infrastructure.
  • Clemson Elevate’s third pillar is about community impact, which will require a robust and open infrastructure for data dissemination.
  • In August 2022, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy issued a memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research to make taxpayer funded research immediately available for the public to freely access and fully use.  This new guideline calls for federal agencies to immediately make taxpayer research available no later than December 31, 2025.
  • Federal funding agencies such as the NSF and NIH already require that research be openly available and data management plans be submitted.
  • In December 2022, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate released SPD-41a: Scientific Information Policy for the Science Mission Directorate to provide guidance on the open sharing of publications, data, and software created in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. The policy’s core values include making SMD funded research as open as possible.

Current Situation

Several initiatives have been implemented to support open access; however, a coordinated and campus wide effort will allow us to create a more effective and strategic campus plan.  The Associate Deans for Research group has already asked how Clemson will support the upcoming data sharing changes.  They suggested that a coordinated effort led by the Division of Research, the Libraries and CCIT will be important.  Current campus open initiatives include:

  • Clemson Libraries offers an open access publishing fund to faculty.  The fund, supported by the Libraries and the Office of Research, has grown from $20,000 in 2019 to $50,000 in 2022, and the fund is usually completely depleted in six months.
  • Clemson Libraries has begun negotiating transformative agreements with publishing companies to reduce or eliminate the open access/article processing fees for campus faculty.  These agreements save the campus significant money but cost roughly $20,000 more annually than traditional agreements.
  • Clemson Libraries opened a Scholars’ Lab to provide assistance in the development of research data management plans, to provide consultation on data deposit, to educate on data visualization, and share research utilizing data.
  • Clemson University Press is currently publishing open monographs and open access journals.
  • The SC Commission on Higher Education includes the following language in it’s Ascend 60×30 strategic policy: “To reduce overall costs in higher education, CHE supports initiatives to reduce textbook costs, pursue systemic cost savings across higher education, emphasize on-time degree completion and increase early college opportunities.”
  • Clemson Libraries currently provides $8,000 in awards to faculty to adopt open textbooks and spends over $30,000 on open course materials and content for the university.
  • Clemson University Press is partnering with PASCAL’s SCALE initiative to develop an imprint for statewide OER creation.
  • Clemson University (the Libraries and CECAS), along with Trident Community College and Claflin University, received a $1.5M grant from the Department of Education to develop robotics textbooks for the state.
  • Clemson Libraries is represented on the AAC&U Institute on Open Educational Resources planning team to develop an action plan “to develop a statewide strategy for wide adoption of OER, which includes deeper fostering collaborations within and across agencies and institutions.”
  • CCIT is in the process of purchasing a data lake and the libraries is exploring the purchase of a data repository.

Key Questions

  1. Should the university have an open access policy?
  2. What should TigerPrints role be in the next generation of open data?
  3. How should Clemson support funding for open access publishing? (journals and monographs)
  4. What type of data infrastructure does Clemson need in the next 5-10 years?
  5. What educational programs should the university provide related to open data?
  6. How should open access to research or scholarly materials be recognized in tenure and promotion?
  7. How should open access policies apply to Clemson course content?
  8. How can the University Press further support the university’s open access efforts?
  9. What should the university be doing to publicly advocate for open access initiatives and legislation at the state, national, and global level?
  10. How might Clemson become an open access leader (in the state and nationally)?