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Does the UC Open Access Policy miss the mark? Depends on which mark.

Institutional open access policies often get a bad rap. Critics point to their lack of “teeth”; their poor compliance rates; their failure, thus far, to effect substantial change within the economically unsustainable and locked down scholarly publishing environment. Motivated by the desire to free all scholarship from publisher access restrictions and the equally ambitious goal of empowering all authors to retain rights to their scholarly publications, these policies struggle mightily under the weight of expectations.

But maybe we are expecting too much — or not enough.

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Groundbreaking University of California policy extends free access to all scholarly articles written by UC employees

birds 250Today the University of California expands the reach of its research publications by issuing a Presidential Open Access Policy, allowing future scholarly articles authored by all UC employees to be freely shared with readers worldwide. Building on UC’s previously-adopted Academic Senate open access (OA) policies, this new policy enables the university system and associated national labs to provide unprecedented access to scholarly research authored by clinical faculty, lecturers, staff researchers, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and librarians – just to name a few. Comprising ten campuses, five medical centers, and nearly 200,000 employees, the UC system is responsible for over 2% of the world’s total research publications. UC’s collective OA policies now cover more authors than any other institutional OA policy to date.

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Newly revised UC Copyright and Fair Use Policy and UC Copyright website better support students and staff

A student with books

The University of California has issued a revised systemwide policy on Copyright and Fair Use, replacing the 1986 Policy on the Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials for Teaching and Research and its accompanying guidelines. The revised policy, which became effective July 9, 2015, is a clear statement by the University in support of copyright law, including the principle of fair use. The UC Copyright website, which has more detailed information about copyright and fair use for members of the UC community, has also been revised. (more…)

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. (more…)

New Public Access Requirements Passed as Part of Appropriations Bill

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 – the $1.1 billion spending bill passed in January, which is hundreds of pages long – included provisions for public access to published research articles. Section 527 of the legislation directs a number of federal agencies to develop public access policies. (more…)

Academic Senate of the University of California Passes Open Access Policy

The Academic Senate of the University of California passed an Open Access Policy on July 24, 2013, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge.

Learn more about the policy and its implementation.

Press release

UC Open Access Policy Explained

On July 24, 2013 the Academic Council of the University of California adopted an Open Access policy for all ten campuses. Chris Kelty, Associate Professor of Information Studies at UCLA and chair of the University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC) explains the details of the policy in this series of videos.

UC Support for California Open Access Bill

The Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act (AB 609) was introduced in the California Assembly on February 20, 2013 by Assembly Member Brian Nestande. This bill would require researchers who receive state agency-funded research grants to make copies of peer-reviewed manuscripts resulting from those grants freely available to the public. On April 26, the University of California Office of State Governmental Relations released a letter supporting the bill. The full text and current status of the bill can be viewed at the California Legislative Information website.

Meet Rich Schneider

Rich Schneider, UCSF Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Open Access champion, was instrumental in rallying UCSF faculty to pass an Open Access policy in May 2012. In this interview, Schneider reflects on this significant milestone and on the larger context of Open Access within the academy. View his perspective on:

Council of University Librarians responds to OSTP RFI

On January 9, the Council of University Librarians submitted comments in response to two Requests for Information from the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. The RFI’s, released in November, 2011, asked for public input on long term preservation of and public access to the results of federally funded research, including digital data and peer-reviewed scholarly publications. See the CoUL responses here.