4 November 2015

University of California open access policy

The University of California recently announced that they are issuing a Presidential Open Access Policy that will cover all future scholarly articles published by UC employees.

The Presidential Open Access Policy extends the previous institutional open access policy which was adopted in 2013. The Presidential policy extends the 2013 Academic Senate Open Access Policy by covering all UC authors, including non-senate members. The new policy allows all UC authors to maintain legal control of their research outputs and also commits all UC authors to deposit their works in a repository for free public dissemination.
"The Presidential OA Policy represents the culmination of significant effort among UC faculty and staff to support increased access to their research publications, from the adoption of the first UC senate OA policy (UCSF) in 2012, to the establishment of the more comprehensive UC-wide Academic Senate policy in 2013." University of California Office of Scholarly Communication. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 licence.
Christopher Kelty, professor of Information Studies and Anthropology at UCLA explains the need for the new policy:
"Until now, tenure-track faculty have had the privilege of passing such policies to govern themselves, but at most universities, such faculty are a fraction of the people who do research and publish articles[...]Extending the same rights to those who aren’t part of a faculty governance system is an important and difficult step–I’m thrilled we have accomplished it.” University of California Office of Scholarly Communication. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 licence.
The UC's Open access policy creates a contract between the University and its authors that is prior to any contracts signed between authors and publishers. This means that UC authors can make their research open access via the University's repository, eScholarship, whilst also publishing in journals as normal. Authors are also granted rights of reuse under the UC open access policy that might otherwise be given over to publishers.

The University of California is a huge institution with nearly 200,000 employees and is responsible for over 2% of the world's research publications. UC clearly casts a large shadow, so this move represents a significant step in the evolution of scholarly research to open access.

Quotes are taken from University of California Office of Scholarly Communication Press release which was licensed under a CC BY 4.0 Licence. The press release can be found here: http://osc.universityofcalifornia.edu/2015/10/groundbreaking-presidential-oa-policy-covers-all-employees/

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