Scholarly Communication

Scholarly Communication is the process where academics share their ideas and research with their peers. This often includes mediums such as journal articles, books, book chapters, theses, and dissertations. Increasingly, informal communications like blogs, twitter and other media are considered part of the system of scholarly communication.

The library can:

  • help you decipher the terms and rights involved with various publishing agreements,
  • offer advice about professional networking and personal unique identifiers like ResearcherID or ORCiD, and
  • help authors increase the impact of an article or publication. 

Intellectual Property


Copyright is a legal term that refers to the rights, granted in the U.S. Copyright Act, given to an author to protect their writing.

  • Copyright applies to text, sound, images, moving images, and graphic art.
  • The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, license, and to prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work.

Fair Use

In academia, reuse of work is often based on the principle of fair use. Fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without obtaining permission from the copyright owner. There are few concrete rules for fair use. Instead, four factors are considered:

  • The purpose and character of your use
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion taken
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market


Although we do not offer legal advice, the library can help you navigate copyright, your rights, and your ability to reuse work. Email or call Leila Sterman for help [ext. 4519].

For more information on copyright, visit
For patent questions, contact the Technology Transfer Office.


ScholarWorks is an open access institutional repository for the capture of the intellectual work of Montana State University. ScholarWorks is a central point of discovery for accessing, collecting, sharing, preserving, and distributing knowledge to the MSU community and the world.

How can I contribute to ScholarWorks?

Authors may send CVs to Leila Sterman, Scholarly Communication Librarian, so that we may assess the copyright of papers for submission into ScholarWorks.

Open Access at the Montana State University Library

Open Access

The library faculty at Montana State University (MSU) define Open Access as the availability of scholarly literature and research documentation that is free of payment and access restrictions. An Open Access item is one that is published with permissions that grant free and perpetual access to distribute, transmit and display, make derivative works with proper attribution, and make small numbers of copies for personal use.  This includes publication and deposit of a version of the item (the publisher’s version, preprint or postprint) in an Open Access digital repository in a timely manner

Statement of Support for Scholarly Literature

The library faculty commit to publishing our scholarly work as Open Access when possible for the benefit of the library, MSU, and the library and information science community. We will educate ourselves and the community about the benefit and nuance of Open Access with the aim of increasing the impact of MSU research .

Services and Infrastructure

We will provide training to library faculty, continue to refine our services and databases, assist with data storage, and continue to develop our infrastructure to facilitate open access at the MSU Library.

Our motivation

We look forward to a campus policy that will be championed and adopted by MSU faculty while placing no limits on academic freedom.

Open Access Statement

The Montana State University Open Access Statement was unanimously approved by Faculty Senate on January 14, 2015.


Author Fund

Open Access Author Fund at MSU

Open access (OA) is the ability to download and freely read scholarly works. OA removes barriers between readers and information. At Montana State University, our goal is to remove those barriers to access so that anyone in the world may read and benefit from the research conducted here in Montana. Publishing articles and books has associated costs, even if the publication is purely digital. Journals spend money reviewing, copy editing, and formatting articles, publishing them in print or online, and promoting them. To pay for this work, many journals ask that the author pay a charge (commonly referred to as an Article Processing Charge or APC). This fee often becomes a barrier between an author and open access publishing.

The Open Access Author Fund

The MSU Library is providing an author’s fund to help remove the barrier between MSU authors and open access publishing. The Library has contributed $50,000 to the fund to be dispersed to authors who are being charged an APC in open access journals. Authors will receive no more than $2,000 per fiscal year on a rolling basis.


  • To allow MSU created research to reach the greatest number of potential readers.
  • To remove some of the burden on authors as they work to make an impact in their field of expertise. 

The Application Process

Eligible Publications

The publication venue must be an established peer-reviewed journal, either, one that does not charge readers or their institutions for access to peer-reviewed articles. We will fund articles in Open Access journals, that is, journals that allow access without subscription fees and hybrid publications, or those journals that have both subscription only and open access articles.

Journals should fit at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (unless the journal is too new for DOAJ eligibility), OR
  • Be a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or adhere to its Code of Conduct, OR
  • Have a publicly available standard fee schedule.
  • Be an open access journal, without subscription fees.

Eligible Articles

Articles/data should:

  • Be a peer-reviewed article submitted to an open access/hybrid journal.
  • Have Publication Status of 'accepted-for-publication'.
  • Not have been published prior to the authors' request for funds.

Articles will be considered only if there is no other source of funding available. We expect researchers to request funding for open access publication from their funding agency if they can do so. For example, the National Institutes of Health will fund open access publications as part of their research grants. If such funds are not available, we welcome your application.

Eligible Authors

Funds are available for faculty, staff, professional and research positions, and students at MSU - Bozeman.

Eligible Fees

Article processing fees may include publication fees (charges levied on articles accepted for publication, including Open Access page charges). Eligible fees must be based on a publication’s standard fee schedule that is independent of the author’s institution. Reprint fees are not eligible. Reimbursement will cover only direct costs for open access publication (not the cost of reprints, color illustration fees, non-open access page charges, etc.). Requests for funding will be reviewed by the Scholarly Communication librarian and a decision for funding support will be communicated to the author.

Fund Limits

Each author is limited to $2,000 per FY. If the demand for funds exceeds expectations, publication charges will be paid to the publisher on behalf of an author on a first-come, first-served basis.

Institutional Repository

As an added service, the library will deposit a copy of funded articles in the institutional repository, and willingness to deposit here is a requirement of receiving funding. The placement of an article in the repository helps to build the collection of publications, supports the self-archiving arm of the open access movement, and provides institutional preservation and discoverability.

How do I apply?