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Open Access @ UC

How does open access affect me?

The UC Academic Senate passed an Open Access Policy on July 24, 2013, which went into effect on November 1, 2014, ensuring that research articles authored by faculty at all UC 10 campuses will be made available to the public at no charge. In addition The University of California Presidential Open Access Policy, which covers all scholarly work written by non-Senate faculty, was signed on October 23, 2015.

Hundreds of institutions across the globe have adopted similar policies (some more far reaching than UC’s). Browse a list of policies by institution.

What do I need to do to be compliant with the policy?

The following flow charts give a brief overview (click to view larger):

More detailed information is available at the UC Open Access Policy FAQ

Pathways to Open Access

As part of the push towards transitioning closed models of scholarly communication (in the form of traditional subscription journals and publishing) to more open modes of access, the UC Libraries prepared an analysis of various methods and approaches to achieving open access. The Pathways to Open Access is a compilation of those efforts to imagine models and pathways towards opening up scholarly research to everyone.

Pathways to OA: Executive Summary 
Pathways to OA: Full Report 
Pathways to OA: Chart Summarizing Approaches, Strategies, & Next Steps 

How does one make something open access?

When looking to make work open access, there are typically two terms that tend to pop up: “Green OA” and “Gold OA.” These two terms are used to designate a means of making something available, rather than a type of work. Green OA refers to a process where an author self-deposits their work into an open access repository. These repositories can be based at an institution (or, in UC’s case, the system-wide repository eScholarship), or can be organized by discipline (such as PubMed Central or arXiv). Many non-OA publishers allow for works published in their journals to be self-archived, but it is important for authors to understand which version of their manuscript (preprint, postprint, publisher version, etc.) this permission may be granted. Gold OA is when an article is published in an open access journal. In order to cover expenses associated with publishing a journal, some publishers will charge an Article Processing Charge (or APC). Hybrid OA is when a subscription journal allows an article published in their journal to be open access for a free, which is usually paid for by the author.

What are Article Processing Charges and why do I have to pay them?

APC's are typically charged by journal publishers to make an article open access. Publishers argue that APC's help offset the overhead of making a work available (revenue that would otherwise be generated by charging for access to the article). If you are publishing in a journal that requires APC's, you can check here to see if UC receives a discount on those charges.

Do I lose control of my work when it becomes open access?

Not at all. The only way you lose the copyright to your work is if you sign away copyright to a publisher in an Author Agreement. Before signing any Author Agreement, you should make sure that you understand the terms to which you are agreeing to in regards to the ownership of your work. If you're unsure about the copyright policies of a particular publisher / journal, the website Sherpa/Romeo provides publisher copyright policies for over one thousand publishers.

You might also check the copyright terms of individual publishers:

Taylor & Francis
Nature Publishing Group
SAGE Publishing

Another useful resource for understanding how to control your rights to your work is “Keep Your Copyrights,” provided by the Columbia Law School.

Need more information?

If you'd like more information on the UC Open Access Policy, open access in general, or other matters related to scholarly publishing, please schedule a consultation: