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Open Access

Open Access is an international movement to support unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed scholarly research. This guide provides resources and information for the UNT community about this emerging trend.

Open Access, Self-Archiving, and Long-term Digital Stewardship

The University of North Texas (UNT) was the first public institution in the state of Texas to implement a policy in support of Open Access.

After the UNT Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly to support the policy on March 9, 2011, the policy, “Stewardship of and Open Access to Works of Scholarship“, was approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs on February 1, 2012. The policy was revised in December of 2021 to no longer require deposits by faculty, although it is still encouraged. 

The policy allows for the establishment of the UNT Scholarly Works repository as the archive of record for the products of research and scholarly endeavor at the University. It recognizes the University’s responsibility to the larger society and encourages faculty to make their work publicly available to ensure the public trust in the University’s activities, and to increase access and visibility for their work.

The University of North Texas is a proud member of the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions, which brings together representatives of North American universities with Open Access policies.

Key Provisions of the UNT Open Access Policy:

  • UNT Community Members are encouraged to take advantage of new technologies to increase access to their scholarly works among scholars worldwide, educators, policymakers, and the public.
  • UNT Community Members are committed to disseminating, as widely as possible, the results of their scholarly activities.
  • As a public research university, UNT recognizes and values its responsibility to the larger society. Scholarly products - the innovations, scholarship, and creative endeavors of its faculty, and the education provided to its students - benefit the communities the university serves.
  • Increased access and visibility of the scholarship serve UNT Community Members' interests by promoting greater reach and impact, and the University's and its community members' status and reputation are enhanced when the scholarship is easily discoverable and accessible.
  • UNT Libraries play an essential role in providing broad access to community members' scholarly works and ensuring long-term stewardship and preservation of these works.

Read the full policy here.

Electronic Theses & Dissertations

Openness and Distribution of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs)

The University of North Texas, as a member of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), endorses the fundamental tenet on openness and access of thesis and dissertation research as stated in the CGS policy manual The Doctor of Philosophy Degree: A Policy Statement (CGS, 2005).

In compliance with CGS, it is the policy at the University of North Texas that “an essential aspect of [thesis] and dissertation research and scholarship is the free and full dissemination of research results. Restrictions, either in the conduct of [thesis] and dissertation research or in the sharing of its results, are antithetical to that spirit.”

As part of UNT’s commitment to openness, all UNT ETDs are placed in the UNT ETD repository and made available via the online UNT Libraries catalog for reading and/or downloading by all users, including being crawled and indexed by online search engines (e.g., Google). ETDs are available in perpetuity; in addition, there are no restrictions regarding who can download the file or how many times it can be downloaded.

Note: There are options for temporarily restricting access to ETDs (in special circumstances and with the approval of the thesis/dissertation director) outside of the UNT community for up to five years. For details, see the "Vireo Thesis/Dissertation Submission Guide", Chapter 10.7: UNT Restriction Policy. 

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