UCSF Open Access Policy FAQ
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OPEN ACCESS POLICY FOR UCSF
- Why have we implemented an Open Access Policy at UCSF?
- Why does the policy use an automatic license? Why not just let individuals invoke the policy themselves?
- What do Faculty need to do to comply with this policy?
- What version of their article should Faculty submit to the repository?
- What is an embargo and does the UCSF OA policy support embargoed publications?
- Does this policy require that Faculty do anything differently or pay for anything?
- What effect will this have on the ability of Faculty to publish in top-ranked journals?
- Can Faculty opt out of this policy?
- Why require Faculty to deposit an article even if they opt out of the Open Access requirement?
- Doesn't this opt-out approach mean that the policy has no teeth? Won't publishers just demand that all authors opt out?
- Will the UCSF Open Access policy increase Faculty vulnerability to piracy of our intellectual property? Will it enable plagiarism?
- Publishers usually require Faculty to check a box indicating transfer of copyright before a paper is published. Will Faculty be in compliance with the policy if they checked the box?
- Can I speak with someone directly about the policy and/or its implementation?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING IN GENERAL
- Is OA a scheme to move the burden of subscription costs on to Faculty?
- I've never paid to publish before, why should I do so now?
- Will NIH pay for publication costs?
- Will UCSF help pay for publication costs?
- Are OA journals peer-reviewed to the same degree as more traditional publications?
- There are a lot of bad open access journals out there. How do we distinguish the good journals from the bad ones?
- Do articles published in OA journals get as much credit during T&P reviews as articles published in commercial journals? Would there be a disproportionate impact on junior Faculty who have not yet been tenured?
Why have we implemented an Open Access Policy at UCSF?
A UCSF Open Access Policy represents a powerful, collective statement about the Faculty commitment to promote the access to and use of our scholarship by the wider public. The primary aim of this policy is to make our scholarship more widely discoverable and available. We are asserting Faculty control over the publication of scholarly research, and recognize our responsibility for making that process sustainable and true to the intentions of scholars. We are also sending a strong collective message to publishers about our values and the system we would like in the future.
Why does the policy use an automatic license? Why not just let individuals invoke the policy themselves?
Experience has shown that mere exhortations have little effect on authors' behavior. Before Congress enacted the NIH Public Access Policy, participation was optional. During that period, there was only a 4% level of compliance. Opt-out systems achieve much higher degrees of participation than opt-in systems, even while remaining non-coercive. By making a blanket policy, individual Faculty benefit from their membership in the policy-making group. The University can work with publishers on behalf of the Faculty to simplify procedures and broaden access. Without a blanket policy, the unified action benefit of the policy would be vitiated.
What do Faculty need to do to comply with this policy?
The policy automatically grants UC a license to make available all scholarly articles. The Library has notified many publishers about this policy and the license granted to UC to make articles openly accessible. Authors should also submit a standard addendum when signing the publisher's copyright agreement as an additional measure. Simply fill in the fields on the addendum developed for this policy and send it to the publisher along with the publication agreement. Please note: whether or not you use the addendum, the license to UC will still have force. You must also deposit a copy of the article, upon publication, within UC's eScholarship open access repository, which already houses over 7,000 postprints and more than 45,000 UC-affiliated publications (June 2012). If your articles are already deposited in PubMed Central per NIH policy, then you will continue to deposit there with the understanding that a copy will also be harvested and deposited in eScholarship. If your articles are not openly available elsewhere, you will need to deposit a final copy directly into eScholarship. The eScholarship submission process will be quite minimal and involve a simple web form.
What version of their article should Faculty submit to the repository?
The policy requires that the author submit the "final version"--which usually means the manuscript copy post-peer review but before a publisher typesets and finalizes it. In the case that the author is publishing in an open access journal, the version submitted might be the final published version with typesetting and journal branding intact.
What is an embargo and does the UCSF OA policy support embargoed publications?
Some publishers allow you to post your manuscript to a repository only after a defined embargo period. The UCLA OA Policy Options system allows you to specify your publisher's embargo requirement, enabling you to complete the deposit process immediately with the confidence that we 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 UCSF Open Access Policy Options site will generate a form that acknowledges your publisher's embargo requirement.
Does this policy require that Faculty do anything differently or pay for anything?
No. You can continue to publish as you always have, in the very same journals, and you do not have to pay to publish your articles or pay to deposit them in an open-access repository. But the intent of the policy is to also to raise awareness that there are other options for your publications, particularly open access journals, which will make your work more widely available. Such options do employ a different financial model for support (see below).
What effect will this have on the ability of Faculty to publish in top-ranked journals?
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 policy, the Faculty member has several options: he or she can choose to publish elsewhere, ask your UL or CDL to negotiate with the publisher, or in the last instance, simply opt out of the application of the license (see below).
Can Faculty opt out of this policy?
Yes. The policy allows Faculty members to opt out of making a work open access. If for any reason, the scholar does not want the work to be made publicly available, he or she simply needs to submit a waiver request. The policy does not, however, allow Faculty to opt out of the deposit requirement. Regardless of whether or not you wish your publication to be openly accessible, you must still deposit a copy of that publication within eScholarship. Any waived publications will not be viewable within the repository.
Why require Faculty to deposit an article even if they opt out of the Open Access requirement?
There are at least three possible advantages: 1) it allows the Faculty member to change their mind later; 2) it allows an independent entity (UC/CDL) to preserve a copy of any publication in the case that a publisher goes out of business or decides to sell or close a particular journal or venue; and 3) it retains for the Faculty member the right to republish an article in another venue in the case that a publisher refuses permission. An unintended effect might be the creation of a robust archive of UC Faculty publications for the purposes of review for promotion and tenure.
Doesn't this opt-out approach mean that the policy has no teeth? Won't publishers just demand that all authors opt out?
Many publishers already allow deposit of articles in their standard agreements, and will have no issue with this policy. A goal of this policy is not to make publishers capitulate to Faculty demands for open access, but to find ways to make our work have greater impact and accessibility. If there is any message to publishers, it is that we hope they will continue to explore options for more sustainable open access publishing solutions in the future, so that policies such as this one become unnecessary.
Will the UCSF Open Access policy increase Faculty vulnerability to piracy of our intellectual property? Will it enable plagiarism?
The policy creates an open access version of a scholarly article covered by copyright. All of the rights and duties that exist in the case of traditional publication remain in the case of the Open Access version, including the ability to prosecute in cases of piracy or plagiarism. If anything, it will deter piracy by allowing access to a freely available version of an article that might otherwise be distributed unlawfully. Plagiarism is something that cannot be addressed by an open access policy.
Publishers usually require Faculty to check a box indicating transfer of copyright before a paper is published. Will Faculty be in compliance with the policy if they checked the box?
Faculty are free to transfer their copyright to whomever they wish, but articles are henceforth subject to a pre-existing license. In practice, Faculty may opt out of the Open Access requirement, meaning that the policy requires only that a copy of the pre-publication version of an article be deposited with UC, though not made visible within the repository. Publishers should be alerted to the policy using the standard UCSF OA Policy Addendum, to be submitted along with the publisher’s article publication agreement. Authors may choose instead to submit the SPARC author addendum. The SPARC addendum acknowledges the institutional OA policy (in section 6) and also outlines additional author copyright retentions not addressed in the OA Policy (section 4). Faculty might also want to think carefully before transferring copyright to any publisher, and instead offer a modified publication agreement. Many Faculty routinely modify their agreements to do just that, and many publishers comply.
Can I speak with someone directly about the policy and/or its implementation?
If you have any questions/concerns about the policy not addressed by this FAQ, please contact:
Assistant Director, Scholarly Communications & Collections
University of California, San Francisco Library
For any questions about eScholarship repository services, please contact:
Access & Publishing Group
California Digital Library
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING IN GENERAL
Is OA a scheme to move the burden of subscription costs on to Faculty?
No. Open Access is an effort to make research publications as widely available as possible. To do so, we must shift from the standard subscription-based model (i.e., payment for access) to a model that supports the publication of freely accessible research through contributions from funders, institutions, and/or authors. Currently, University libraries pay for ever-increasing subscriptions to journals, and so the burden of costs already fall on Faculty in the form of reduced library services, access, and staff.
I've never paid to publish before, why should I do so now?
Authors have historically paid for reprints, page charges, color plates, etc. In some cases these would have been more expensive then current OA publication fees. For conferences, authors routinely pay submission fees for abstracts or to print posters. Authors also pay for reagents, materials, and other parts of a publication (e.g., statistics, sequencing, or illustrations). Paying for someone to publish your paper can be seen as just another contracted service in support of your research.
Will NIH pay for publication costs?
Yes. According to published NIH policy, "The NIH will reimburse publication costs, including author fees, for grants and contracts on three conditions: (1) such costs incurred are actual, allowable, and reasonable to advance the objectives of the award; (2) costs are charged consistently regardless of the source of support; (3) all other applicable rules on allowability of costs are met."
Will UCSF help pay for publication costs?
Yes. In lieu of subscription costs and in the absence of grants that include publication costs, the Library will have some resources available to support Faculty publications in Open Access journals. UC authors already realize discounts on many OA publication fees through Library-supported memberships and subscriptions.
Are OA journals peer-reviewed to the same degree as more traditional publications?
Yes. A journal's economic or access policy does not determine its peer review policy. Most scholarly journals, whether open access or controlled-access journals, are rigorously peer-reviewed, and usually by Faculty just like us. There are both open and controlled journals that are not peer-reviewed. Many publishers now have an open access option for individual articles. This open access option does not change the quality of the peer review or editorial process for those journals or articles.
There are a lot of bad open access journals out there. How do we distinguish the good journals from the bad ones?
Open access is not a designation of quality. OA journals should be judged by exactly the same criteria as any traditional publication: the caliber of the research published, the peer review process, the composition of the editorial board and staff, impact factors or any other trusted metrics of quality. Contact the Library (LibraryCollections@ucsf.edu) if you would like more information about a particular publisher or journal.
Do articles published in OA journals get as much credit during T&P reviews as articles published in commercial journals? Would there be a disproportionate impact on junior Faculty who have not yet been tenured?
The proposed policy should have no effect on tenure and promotion. The policy does not prescribe or proscribe the venues in which an author may publish. It could have a positive effect on some scholarship by leading to more visibility and higher rates of citation.