For immediate release | March 17, 2011

College & Research Libraries to go open access

CHICAGO - The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces that its scholarly research journal, College & Research Libraries (C&RL), will become an open access publication beginning with the May 2011 issue. This change in access policy lifts the online version of the publication’s current six-month embargo on new content and makes the complete contents of the journal from 1997 to the present freely available through the publication website at

“In spite of economic uncertainty, I am pleased that ACRL has endorsed full open access in practice for its primary research journal,” C&RL Editor Joseph Branin wrote in an editorial in the March 2011 issue of the journal. “The intellectual value of open access, I believe, justifies its cost. Now the content of our journal will be freely available online to all around the world.”

The ACRL Board of Directors approved the new policy at the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. In its resolution, the Board cited the association’s support for open scholarship and access to scholarly work as the driving force behind the change. The board also stressed that through the move, ACRL continues to play a leading role in advocating for new models of scholarly communication in all of the disciplines.

“The ACRL Board of Directors, C&RL Editorial Board and the staff of ACRL have listened to our members’ desire to live the message of our scholarly communication advocacy to promote wide dissemination of scholarship,” noted ACRL Vice-President/ President-Elect Joyce Ogburn of the University of Utah. “Our premier journal that so powerfully documents our professional concerns, achievements and research results now belongs to the world.”

Open access to current C&RL content will begin with the May 2011 issue. Additional details about the new open access policy are available in an FAQ on the ACRL website at


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.