Teaching, Research, & Open Access Support

Support for Teaching

Course Reserves

Research Education / Library Instruction

  • Research & Instruction librarians work with hundreds of classes each year, teaching research skills in the context of specific courses and assignments. R&I librarians partner with faculty to craft assignments and to sequence research across semesters or throughout majors. We teach approaches and strategies as well as particular sources and tools.
  • We generally teach in the Lane Room (10 computers and projector) or the Barker Room (up to 17 computers, projector, seats 49). We can also come to your classroom. We're happy to craft custom course guides or talk with you about useful resources for your students in meeting your research goals for them.

Research Appointments With Your Students

  • We strongly encourage students to meet with librarians to discuss research for papers, projects, and thesis work.

Support for Research

Talk With Us

  • Our subject librarians love to hear about your research and teaching: current and future projects, approaches, strategies, tools, collections, bibliographic management (e.g. Zotero), etc. Chatting with us over coffee in the Frost cafe helps us to support your work better.

Building the Collection

  • We welcome requests to purchase items needed for your teaching and research. Please submit purchase requests here. We also welcome broad recommendations for building the collection in your discipline. Please contact your subject librarian
  • We encourage new faculty members to contact their subject librarian upon joining the college so that we can acquire the materials they need for their teaching and research.

Interlibrary Loan

  • We obtain material from around the world without charge to you. Please submit requests here. We can, if you wish, establish interlibrary loan accounts for your research assistants; please contact ILL staff at interlibraryloan@amherst.edu for details.
  • Whenever possible, we deliver journal articles as PDFs via email. We hold other materials as they arrive at the Frost circulation desk: books, dissertations, government documents, microfilms, photocopies of non-circulating items, and musical scores at the Frost Library circulation desk.

Loan Periods

  • Books: 1 year
  • Periodicals: 7 days
  • DVDs: 7 days (limit of 10 items)
  • CDs: 28 days
  • Everything else: Please see the table of loan periods for full information on loan periods, including loans for Five College faculty.

Five College Delivery

  • The Five College Delivery (FCD) program delivers most materials (with some exceptions) from the other five colleges and depositories directly to the Frost Library circulation desk, usually within 2 to 3 business days. Please request such material through Discover. You will receive an email when the item is ready for pickup. We hold these Items at the Frost Library circulation desk for up to 10 days.

Research Assistants

  • Faculty may designate someone to request and borrow material using their account. Please complete the Research Assistant Authorization page to submit your request.

Support for Open Access

Amherst College Open Access Resolution

In our efforts to make information open to all, the Amherst College faculty have adopted an open access resolution. The policy requires you to submit an electronic copy of the author's final version of the manuscript along with the bibliographical information for the article. The Open Access Policy automatically gives Amherst an institutional license, with the right to make the article openly accessible, in the Octagon, the College's institutional repository. Please refer to the open access instructions for faculty and the open access FAQ for further details.

Open Access Publication Charges (changes effective Spring 2023)

The library will make up to $20,000 available each year from its materials budget to support open access publishing. Amherst College faculty publishing in peer-reviewed, open access publications may request up to $2,000 in assistance from the Library to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) or Book Processing Charges (BPCs). Any funds not allocated by April 30th will return to the library’s materials budget. Fees charged by non-open-access journals/books to make individual articles/chapters freely available are not eligible for this grant. Faculty with co-authors at other institutions that offer APC/BPC support should coordinate funding requests across institutions to split costs when possible. Please contact Martin Garnar (mgarnar@amherst.edu) for information about subsidies.

Amherst College Library Statement on Paying Open Access Author Charges (2007, 2016, and 2023)

We believe that the Amherst College Library should respond to the effort to make scholarly research as accessible as possible to scholars and students all over the world by actively supporting open access publishing. OA makes digital access free to users. In the “author pays” model, authors, or their sponsors, pay fees upfront to defray production costs; libraries and readers pay nothing; peer-review is unchanged.

This alternative to traditional subscription-based publishing is championed by Nobel laureate, former National Institutes of Health director and Amherst alumnus Harold Varmus ‘61. Varmus was not only instrumental in starting the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central, which mirrors open access titles and contains archival content for journals that have decided to make their back issues available for free, but is also co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Public Library of Science (PLoS).

By covering the full costs of production through author fees, rather than levying page charges on authors and then charging readers to access articles open access publishers such as PLoS and BioMed Central (BMC) have transformed the traditional publishing system.

Open access is having an impact on scholarly publishing. Submission to an open access journal is certain to remove the financial access barriers for potential readers of your work -- and evidence suggests that open access publishing increases the reach and impact of your work.

Funding agencies such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the Rockefeller Foundation have stated policies allowing the use of grants to cover article processing charges. The Library’s institutional memberships and subscriptions provide Amherst authors with discounts or waivers on author charges at PLoS, BMC, and others.

We will continue our support for Amherst College authors from all disciplines who choose open access publishing. Funding from the Library will subsidize or pay in full the author charges for all peer reviewed, open access journals as detailed above. It will not pay author fees demanded by non-open-access journals to make individual articles freely available.