This is the "Faculty Open Access Policy" page of the "Scholarly Communication and Open Access" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Scholarly Communication and Open Access   Tags: how do i...?, special topics  

Last Updated: Apr 1, 2014 Guide URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Faculty Open Access Policy Print Page

University of California Open Access Policy for Faculty

On July 24, 2013, the Academic Senate of the University of California passed an Open Access Policy, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge.  The policy grants a default non-exclusive license to the University to make faculty-authored published articles freely available to the public in an open access repository where faculty will deposit digital copies of their published articles. Articles will be available via eScholarship (UC’s open access repository) in tandem with their publication in scholarly journals. Open access benefits researchers, educational institutions, businesses, research funders and the public by accelerating the pace of research, discovery and innovation and contributing to the mission of advancing knowledge and encouraging new ideas and services.


Frequently Asked Questions

Following are selected questions from the full FAQ available on the Reshaping Scholarly Communication Website. 

Q. Why have the faculty of the University of California adopted an Open Access Policy for scholarly articles?

A. A University of California Open Access Policy represents a powerful, collective statement about the faculty commitment to promote the access to and use of scholarship by the wider public. The primary aim of this policy is to make UC scholarship more easily and broadly discoverable and available to anyone in California or the world. As faculty members, we are asserting our control over the publication of scholarly research and recognize the responsibility for making that process sustainable and true to the intentions of scholars. The faculty is also sending a strong collective message to publishers about the values and the system we would like in the future. 

Q. What do faculty need to do to comply with this policy? 

A. By passing the policy on July 24, 2013, UC faculty members have committed themselves to making their scholarly articles available to the public by granting a license to UC and depositing a copy of their publications in eScholarship, UC’s open access repository. The policy automatically grants UC a license to make any scholarly articles available in an open access repository. UC will not do so, however, until an author takes the action of depositing an article in UC’s eScholarship repository or confirms the availability of the article in another open access venue – i.e., a repository (such as PubMed central, ArXiv or SSRN) or an open access journal. 

Q. When does this policy take effect? 

A. Faculty on three campuses (UCLA, UCI and UCSF) will begin depositing articles in eScholarship on November 1, 2013.  Deposit of articles by faculty on the remaining campuses is expected to begin on November 1, 2014. Of course, faculty at all campuses are welcome to deposit articles in eScholarship before these dates. 

Q. Do Faculty need to notify publisher(s) about this policy? 

A. The UC libraries will take steps to notify many publishers about the policy and the license granted therein. If Authors wish, they may also submit a standard addendum when signing the publisher's copyright agreement to further assert the terms of the policy. Simply fill in the fields on the Addendum request form developed for this policy and send it to the publisher along with the publication agreement. Please note: whether or not an addendum is used, the license to UC will still have force, but it is good practice to include it. 

Q. Can Faculty opt out of this policy? 

A. Yes. The policy allows Faculty members to opt out on a per-article basis. Faculty members may waive the open access license for each article permanently, or delay appearance of the article (embargo it) for a specified period. If for any reason, the scholar does not want to make the work publicly available, he or she simply needs to submit a waiver request, and automatically receive a waiver letter verifying this choice. Faculty can still choose to deposit the article in the repository if they wish, as long as the agreement signed with the publisher reserves that right.

Q. Which publishers allow this policy?

A. There is a very long list of publishers that already allow so-called “green open access” with or without an university open access policy. A handful of large publishers object to these policies and will demand that faculty members embargo or delay access (or opt out permanently) in order to publish an article. UC provides an automated system to allow you to specify your publisher's embargo requirement, enabling you to complete the deposit process immediately with the confidence that the University will not provide access to your manuscript until the embargo period has passed. Additionally, your publisher may require written assurance that the embargo restriction will be met. The embargo option on the UC Open Access Policy waiver and embargo site will generate a form that acknowledges your publisher's embargo requirement. 

Q. What effect will this have on the ability of Faculty to publish in top-ranked journals?

A. None. The policy is completely agnostic with respect to where a Faculty member chooses to publish: it only requires that Faculty retain the right to make the work available in a repository. If a publisher refuses to publish a work due to the terms of the policy, the Faculty member has several options: he or she can choose to publish elsewhere, ask his or her University Librarian or CDL to negotiate with the publisher, embargo (delay public access to) the article for as long as the publisher requests, or simply opt out of (waive) the open access license. A simple web form is available to help with this process. 

Q. Does the eScholarship repository or the University of California intend to make money from these articles?

A. No. The policy explicitly states that the purpose of this license is “for the purpose of making their articles widely and freely available in an open access repository” and that “Any other systematic uses of the licensed articles by the University of California must be approved by the Academic Senate.” Provost Aimee Dorr has also assured the Faculty Senate that UC has no intention to make any commercial use of these articles, and the Faculty Senate is committed to monitoring this effort to ensure that this promise is kept.

Q. What happens in the case of co-authorship? What if a faculty member has co-authored with someone at a university that does not have this kind of policy?

A. Under US copyright law all joint authors own the work jointly and equally. This means that each author can grant third parties permission to use the work on a nonexclusive basis without the consent of other joint authors. Generally speaking, co-authors should always clearly indicate to each other at the point of authorship what their preferences are, to avoid misunderstanding. If you have signed a contract or agreement with another institution regarding your publications, you should consult with that institution. Otherwise, UC faculty have the right to make work available under this policy independent of their co-authors’ institutional policies or preferences. 

Q. Can faculty members make their work open access if it has copyrighted images in it?

A. In some cases yes, and in some cases no — if permission was required in order for the image to be used, it depends on the permission rights you or your publisher agreed to for the use of the image(s). If you have negotiated a broad right to reproduce the image online, then you can likely deposit it in an open access repository, depending on the wording in the permission agreement. You may also be able to rely on fair use to use the image, or a similar one obtained from a separate source. If you do not have the rights, you can negotiate for additional rights, opt out of the policy for that article, or deposit a version of the article that does not include the image(s). If you need help determining what rights you have, contact



Get Help With Data & Open Access


Scholarly Communication & eResearch Team



Does my journal allow self-archiving?

sherpa romeo

Use this site to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.


Exact title starts with
contains   ISSN

Advanced Search

Search provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free-of-charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

Some OA articles are published in open-access journals. Others are published in traditional journals, and archived in open-access repositories like eScholarship, SSRN, and arXiv.

OA is entirely compatible with peer review and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance.

Most discussion about OA focuses on articles, but there is an increasing movement toward OA in monographs, data, and other formats as well.

Read more


Loading  Loading...