University of Iowa Libraries becomes institutional member of Open Access publisher Cogitatio

Today hefty paywalls prevent research published in most scholarly journals from being read online by audiences that many academics often most want to reach—policy makers and elected officials, industry leaders, non-profits, educators, the general public, and even faculty from smaller teaching colleges and community colleges. The University of Iowa Libraries has signed an institutional agreement with Cogitatio Press to support Open Access publishing by faculty, students and staff in their journals. According to SPARC, “Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.” Instead of paywalls, Open Access is often supported by article processing fees (APC), that are often the responsibilities of the authors (or their institutions). The agreement with Cogitatio means the APCs are paid for as part of a 3-year membership by the university. This means that the scholarly research produced by University of Iowa faculty and students can be viewed in full text online and shared widely.  

Cogitatio’s peer reviewed journals include

    1. Media and Communication
    2. Politics and Governance
    3. Social Inclusion
    4. Urban Planning

In Political Science, Professor Caroline Tolbert and graduate students Scott LaCombe and Courtney Juelich each have had articles accepted for publication in a special issue of Politics and Governance dedicated to understanding state ballot measures (initiatives and referenda) after completing a rigorous peer-review process. Professor Tolbert is excited about the prospect of having coauthored work published in an Open Access journal that is rigorously peer-reviewed. “There are not yet many options for Open Access in Political Science, and this model of publication is one model for the future for scholarly writing. We need to expand our readers beyond just other academics and engage in conversations with policymakers and the general public. I also found Cogitation’s peer-review process very thorough. Politics and Governance is a high quality journal. Some scholars worry that Open Access is not as prestigious, but I encourage my colleagues to take a look.”

The Libraries’ Scholarly Publishing guides for “What Faculty Can Do” and “Open Access Models” provide additional information on Open Access at the University of Iowa.

Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) now available to UI researchers

The University of Iowa is now an institutional member of QDR (Qualitative Data Repository) . The QDR membership gives faculty and other researchers  a platform to store and share their qualitative data and enhances campus efforts for providing Research Data Services.

“QDR is a dedicated archive for storing and sharing digital data (and accompanying documentation) generated or collected through qualitative and multi-method research in the social sciences,” according to the Syracuse University based organization. “QDR provides search tools to facilitate the  discovery of data, and also serves as a portal to material beyond its own holdings, with links to U.S. and international archives.”

“The main benefit of membership is curation and preservation of data projects deposited by affiliates – faculty, students, and research staff – of member institutions”.  

Most data repositories focus on quantitative data. QDR offers an advantage for curating qualitative data. Alternatives include having researchers manage data on their own, which would mean more time and expense.

QDR is being funded at the University of Iowa by the University Libraries and the Iowa Social Science Research Center. The University of Iowa Libraries has been working closely with the Office of the Vice President of Research and Economic Development, Information Technology Services, and campus offices to support  data management. Brett Cloyd ( | (319)335-5743) from the UI Libraries is the QDR Institutional Representative and serves as liaison with QDR. Please contact Brett with questions for help in getting started. More information is available at the UI Libraries’ QDR Guide.   

Funding for QDR is provided by the National Science Foundation, and hosted by the Center for Qualitative and Multi-Method Inquiry, a unit of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.