About COAPI – COAPI Process and Procedures

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COAPI Processes and Procedures

Mission Statement

The Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI) brings together representatives from North American institutions with established faculty open access policies and those in the process of developing such policies. It was formed to share information and experiences and to illuminate opportunities for moving faculty-led open access forward at member institutions and advocating for open access nationally and internationally.  COAPI will offer a collection of best and evolving practices to act as a roadmap for inspiring, promoting, and implementing open access policies at institutions without existing or effective open access policies.


There are two types of membership in COAPI: Full Member and Affiliate Member.  All COAPI members, regardless of membership type, are eligible to participate in COAPI meetings and communication channels. All COAPI members will designate someone to be an Institution Contact, but may have additional staff participate in COAPI meetings and communication channels.

Full Member:  Any North American institution with an open access policy at the institutional, divisional, or departmental level is eligible to join as a Full Member. Full Members in COAPI:

  • Designate a COAPI Institution Contact for the institution, with approval from dean/director of library or similar director of unit
  • Are listed as a member on the COAPI website, including a link to their OA policy, and contact information for the Institutional Contact.
  • Eligible to volunteer and serve on Steering Committee, task forces, and working groups.
  • Participate fully in COAPI decisions.

Affiliate: Any North American institution which is developing or interested in developing an open access policy is eligible to join as an Affiliate. Affiliates in COAPI:

  • Designate a COAPI Institution Contact for the institution for internal COAPI communications (Google Group, etc.) with approval from dean/director of library.
  • May or may not choose to be listed on the COAPI website, which includes the Institution Contact, while the open access policy is in development.
  • After the Affiliate passes an open access policy, the Affiliate automatically becomes a Full Member, and will be expected to have their institution listed on the COAPI website, with a link to the OA policy.
  • Eligible to volunteer and serve on task forces and working groups.
  • Does not partake in COAPI decisions.


COAPI will be led by a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Steering Committee, with the Past-Chair serving in an ex-officio capacity on the Steering Committee.  The Steering Committee will have 4 members in addition to Chair, Vice-Chair, and Past-Chair.  Those serving in an official leadership capacity in COAPI will be listed as such on the COAPI website.  Any person employed by a Full Member institution is eligible to serve in a leadership position.

Selection and Terms for Steering Committee members, Chair, Vice-Chair, Past-Chair and Liaison to the SPARC Open Access Working Group

The Steering Committee will be composed of volunteers from among Full Member institutions, each serving a 2 year term.  The terms will be staggered with up to three new members every year (depending on which member is selected to become the new Vice-Chair), and each Steering Committee member may volunteer for a second consecutive term, to be reappointed at the discretion of the Chair.

The Vice-Chair will be selected by the Steering Committee members from among the members of the Steering Committee prior to recruiting new Steering Committee members. The Vice-Chair serves one year as Vice-Chair and the following year as Chair. Selection as Vice-Chair begins a new term, regardless of the term already served on the Steering Committee.

The Chair is a one-year term, following a year as Vice-Chair.  The Chair becomes Past-Chair for a one year term, serving as an ex-officio member of the Steering Committee.

The Liaison to the SPARC Open Access Working Group will be selected by the Steering Committee members from among members of the Steering Committee to serve a one-year term.

All terms begin July 1st.

Duties of Chair, Vice-Chair, Past-Chair and Steering Committee


  • Call meetings of the Steering Committee and membership as a whole, including virtual meetings and in-person meetings held at other events such as SPARC, ALA, ACRL, and other conferences.
  • Set agendas for any meetings, soliciting agenda items from the membership in advance of any membership meetings
  • Coordinate sub-groups (ad hoc and working groups) in consultation with Steering Committee
  • Provide reports on activities of COAPI and be a representative for COAPI to other organizations as needed
  • Solicit new Vice-Chair from among Steering Committee members in June to begin term in July.
  • Write annual update in June to share with members and post on website
  • Provide transition for incoming Chair/Vice-Chair


  • Assist Chair in duties as requested
  • Contact institutions who have passed OA policies and invite to join
  • Coordinate adding new members (including adding to public website, private Google Group, toolkit, etc.), orienting them to the work and structure of COAPI, and notifying the broader group
  • Serve as contact for potential new members
  • Serve as point person for website, editing or facilitating edit tasks as needed


  • Serve as ex-officio member of Steering Committee
  • Assist Chair in duties as requested
  • Put out a call and solicit volunteers for the Steering Committee and present a slate to the Steering Committee by the first of May of each year.  New members should be selected by June 1.

Steering Committee

  • Support Chair and Vice-Chair
  • Represent interests of all Members and provide direction for COAPI
  • Review Process and Procedure Document at least every other year and make recommendations to the membership for updates and changes in process as appropriate as COAPI grows. The Steering Committee may appoint a sub-group for this task.
  • One member manages the COAPI Twitter account
  • One member can join the Open Access Week Working Group upon invitation by SPARC


In realizing COAPI’s commitment to fostering a more open scholarly communication system through cultural and legislative change, the Steering Committee may choose to participate in advocacy actions at the regional, national, and international level. Any COAPI member may propose an advocacy action to the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee will make the final decision on participating in an advocacy action, considering whether the statement or action relates to institutional open access policies and reflects the interest of COAPI members. After affirming to sign, write, or participate in an advocacy action, the committee will determine the proper signatory – COAPI as a whole, or the COAPI Steering Committee. The committee will also decide whether to notify members prior to participation. A member of the Steering Committee will notify the COAPI member list after the advocacy event is published or recorded, and a link or copy should be added to the COAPI Advocacy webpage.

Meetings and Communication

Those in leadership roles (Chair, Vice-Chair, Past-Chair, and Steering Committee members) are expected, but not required, to attend virtual and in-person meetings of COAPI if possible.

Meetings are to further the mission of COAPI, with a focus on information sharing, and may take place at library conferences and other venues where COAPI members are gathered.  The date, time, and place of meetings should be announced as soon as practical to the members of COAPI, to facilitate attendance, with an agenda provided in advance. In addition to meetings, informal gatherings of COAPI members may be arranged by any COAPI member.

Regular communication is largely via a private Google Group limited to COAPI members and maintained by the Vice-Chair.

Substantive changes to this document will be submitted to the COAPI Google Group for comment. The Steering Committee may make minor adjustments to the document without consultation.

Adopted August 2013

Revised August 2018

Revised January 2021

Revised September 2021

Revised April 2022

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