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Proposed Presidential Policy on Open Access Would Reach All Non-Senate UC Authors

Academic Senate faculty are currently the only University of California authors covered by a UC open access policy, but that may soon change. Provost Aimée Dorr recently distributed a draft proposal for a broader open access policy that would cover all other UC employees. Comments on the proposed policy are due by January 15, 2015. The text of the policy and its accompanying documents can be found on the UCOP Academic Affairs website.

If adopted, the draft policy will cover all new scholarly articles written by non-Senate UC employees. It reserves the right for authors to make their final versions of these articles publicly available and directs the authors to submit a copy of them to eScholarship, UC’s open access repository. Alternately, authors can provide a link to a location where the article is already openly available in another repository or at the publisher’s site. If an article’s publication agreement is signed before the policy is adopted, that article is not covered by the policy.

The proposed policy is similar to the UC-wide and the UCSF Academic Senate policies – and others like them around the world – in many ways. It does, however, have some distinct terms to keep in mind:

  • Coverage – The proposed Presidential Policy covers all non-Senate UC employees who publish scholarly articles. Senate employees will remain covered by the UC Senate Open Access policy adopted July 24, 2013.
  • Waivers – Non-Senate UC authors who do not own the copyright in their articles need to show “compelling circumstances” to obtain a waiver of the requirement to make a copy openly available. UC authors who own copyright in their articles can obtain a waiver for any reason. Whether copyright in a work created by a UC author is held by the author or the University is determined by the University’s 1992 Policy on Copyright Ownership.
  • Deposit without public access – Like the UCSF policy, but unlike the UC-wide Senate policy, authors are still required to deposit their articles in eScholarship, even if they obtain a waiver of the public access requirement. Articles for which a waiver has been obtained will not be displayed publicly.

The policy was developed by the Provost’s Task Force on Open Access, chaired by UCLA Associate Professor Christopher Kelty and revised in consultation with a variety of groups across the UC system. The policy’s Cover Letter for Systemwide Review states that all employees are welcome to review and comment. Comments and feedback are due by January 15, 2015, and should be sent to ADV-VPCARLSON-SA@ucop.edu. Questions may be directed to Janet Lockwood at Janet.Lockwood@ucop.edu or 510.987.9499.

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