The University of Malta (UM), Malta’s only state university, joined many other tertiary education institutions around the world by committing to an Open Access Policy. The decision was taken at the Senate meeting on June 15th.
This decision will add momentum to the drive, already underway, to deposit all manner of peer reviewed publications by the UM’s academic staff at the institutional repository (IR) that is held at and managed by the University of Malta Library.
Additionally, the UM is now actively encouraging its academic members of staff to consider publishing in reputable open access journals and, in any case, to have the metadata of all their scholarly works duly available on the IR. Staff will be also supported by the Library should they seek to secure permission from any copyright terms in order to move their published work to open access.
UM is the world’s fourth oldest university where the language of tuition is English. Webometrics ranks the UM amongst the top 5% of the world’s universities. The Open Access policy should significantly improve the international visibility of academic scholarship associated with UM.
In the run-up to the crafting of the Open Access Policy, the UM was privileged to secure the expert advice of Dr Stevan Harnad, a leading authority on Open Access – a connection brokered by the Commonwealth Centre for Connected Learning and the Commonwealth of Learning.