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One key objective of University of California’s Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC) is to coordinate and offer educational resources related to scholarly publishing. On the OSC website, authors can find guides to copyright, open access (OA), research impact, peer review, and more. In real life, OSC members are also “out in the field” at our respective libraries and university presses, offering consultations and support for UC scholars and authors on a multitude of publishing issues.

Over the past two years, we have engaged in an increasing number of discussions with journal editors interested in transitioning their journals to open access. We have also learned a few lessons in the process–particularly regarding the specific issues that any OA-aspiring journal must address, e.g., choosing publishing platforms, funding models, copyright and licensing policies, and communications strategies.

Given OSC’s mission to make educational materials about publishing more widely available, we are excited to have distilled these recent experiences into a practical toolkit aimed at supporting journal editors and publishers and the organizations or libraries that work with them. This toolkit, which you can find on our new OSC page Transitioning Journals to OA, includes a variety of resources for those interested in the OA transitioning process:

  • For all audiences: Anyone interested in transitioning their journals to OA — or in supporting journals through this process — may find it helpful to start with our Guide to Transitioning Journals to Open Access Publishing. This guide is designed to help stakeholders understand basics about journal ownership, operations, and funding models, and to begin gathering important information necessary for OA publishing decision-making.
  • For libraries and professional staff: If you are a librarian, repository manager, or other professional who supports scholarly communication services or journal publishing, you may be interested in our Checklist for Conversations About Transitioning Journals to OA. Mirroring our own such consultations, we developed this checklist to facilitate discussions with OA-aspiring journal editors about their journal’s operations, finances, and strategies. Running through these questions will enable journal boards and editors to come away from your conversation with a clearer understanding of how to proceed with an OA transition.
  • For journal editors: In August 2018, UC San Francisco and UC Press offered a round table discussion and training for journal editors interested in flipping their journals to open access. The round table was so successful that OSC has decided to share program documentation so that any interested editorial board or institution could iterate on this model. We will be preparing guidance on hosting OA transition round tables, so stay tuned to this space!

These resources on our Transitioning Journals to OA page will continue to expand and evolve. Your experiences in using these materials can help shape their future direction. If you would like to share your thoughts or comments, we welcome them at

In the meantime, may your OA transition voyage be both smooth and rewarding!


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