Looking for an at-a-glance overview of the OA Policy that applies to you?
Non-Senate UC Employees: All Campuses
Academic Senate Faculty: UCSF
Academic Senate Faculty: All Other Campuses
Frequently Asked Questions
Expand All | Collapse All
What are the terms of the UC Open Access Policies and what do I have to do?
For any article covered by the policies, authors should provide the author’s final version (see information about versions below) for inclusion in eScholarship, UC’s open access repository. UC’s publication management system makes it easy to add articles to eScholarship and participate in UC’s OA policies. Authors will be contacted by email to verify their articles and upload a copy or provide an open access link to their publications. Read more on the Deposit page. Alternatively, authors can choose to deposit their articles in another OA repository and provide a link to the open version of their publication.
If a publisher requires an author to opt out of a UC OA policy in order to publish an article or if an author independently wishes to opt out of a policy for a particular article, the author can use the waiver and embargo page or read the question below about waivers and embargoes. The full text of the policies is available from the UC OA policies background page.
Who’s covered by the policies?
Do the UC OA policies cover every article I’ve ever written?
|Presidential OA Policy covering all non-Senate UC employees, regardless of campus||October 23, 2015|
|UC-wide Academic Senate OA Policy||July 24, 2013|
|UCSF Academic Senate OA Policy||May 21, 2012|
If you aren’t sure which policy applies to you, see our list of who’s covered by which policy.
When it’s time to sign your publishing agreement…
What are waivers and embargoes?
A waiver enables an author to opt out of a UC OA policy for a particular article. (Waiver requests are rare and typically originate with publishers who object to the terms of UC’s OA policies.) The author’s rights are then limited to what is allowed by the publication agreement that was signed with the publisher. Often the agreement still allow the author to post a version of the article in their institutional repository. You can look up your publisher’s standard terms on SHERPA/RoMEO if you do not have your publishing agreement on hand.
If your publisher or editor has asked you for a waiver, you can get create a letter for them with the waiver, embargo, and addendum form. You can also see sample letters on that page.
The Presidential OA Policy, issued in October 2015, recognizes that UC authors who do not own their copyright cannot independently waive the policy for particular publications, and states that they must show “compelling circumstances” before the University will grant them a waiver. Information about who to contact in order to demonstrate “compelling circumstances” is available from our page listing campus contacts for copyright questions.
Whether or not an author owns the copyright in a scholarly article is determined by UC’s 1992 Policy on Copyright Ownership. A summary of UC copyright ownership policies is available at the UC copyright site. If you still have questions about copyright ownership for articles written at UC, email us and we’ll forward your question to the Office of General Counsel.
UCSF Senate faculty and and non-Senate UC authors are required to deposit the author’s final version of their manuscript even in cases of waiver. The UC-wide Senate policy does not require deposit when the license for an article is waived.
An embargo delays public access to an article in eScholarship (UC’s open access repository) until a predetermined time period has elapsed after the article’s publication. The author chooses to retain the rights reserved by the relevant UC OA policy, but agrees not to exercise those rights until the embargo period has passed.
Does my publisher know that UC has open access policies?Most publishers are aware of UC’s policies, even if editors of individual journals are not. UC contacted nearly two hundred publishers to let them know about the Senate policy in 2013, and also contacted many publishers after the UCSF policy was adopted in 2012. Institutional open access policies are covered in news sources like the Chronicle of Higher Education and tracked by sites like ROARMAP. Publishers who have objected to UC’s policies have been actively requiring authors to opt out. You can find information about the publishers contacted and the number of waiver requests by UC authors on the Publisher Communications page.
My publisher charges $____ for open access. Do I have to pay that to comply with UC’s OA policies?
My publisher’s policy says _____________, which is different from UC’s OA policies.
My publisher didn’t require me to get a waiver or embargo (delayed access) for my article. Now what?
Do I have to get permission from my co-authors to comply with a UC OA policy?
What kinds of writings are covered?
UC also has a Policy on Open Access for Theses and Dissertations. Unlike the scholarly article-based open access policies discussed above, participation in this policy is handled campus-by-campus. Find links to campus graduate division guidance on the Open Access Theses and Dissertations page, and contact your campus graduate division if you have questions.
What’s the easiest way to comply with the deposit requirement of the policies?
- Senate faculty and some other authors will be contacted via email to verify and deposit their articles within UC’s publication management system, which feeds information into eScholarship. Users can also log in to the system at any time by visiting http://oapolicy.universityofcalifornia.edu
- Authors who have not yet been added to the publication management system should manually deposit articles in eScholarship. eScholarship has a streamlined submission process and will automatically populate article information if you provide a DOI or PMID.
What if my article is already openly available?
How do I know if I’m depositing the right version?
If you no longer have your author’s final version, you may be able to retrieve a copy from the review system used by the journal in which it was published. A non-profit group has created a guide explaining how to download the author’s final version (referred to in the guide as an AAM) of an article from some of the most commonly used journal systems. You can access the guide from the Open Access Button site.
The UC OA policies name the author’s final version as the version of choice for deposit, but some publishers are comfortable with (or even prefer) authors posting the publisher-formatted PDF. SHERPA/RoMEO maintains a list of these publishers and you can check to see if yours is one of them.
Do the UC OA policies allow commercial use of faculty articles by eScholarship end users?
How will people find my article once it’s openly available?
Can UC authors make their work open access if it has copyrighted images in it?
- Contact the other party to the agreement to get permission;
- Get a different copy of the image from a different source with better terms, or depending on your discipline, see if there is a different image that will meet your needs;
- Deposit a version of the article that does not include the images so that readers can still read your argument/analysis; readers unfamiliar with the images who want to fully understand your arguments will need to get the version of record through other channels;
- Opt out of the policy for that article by visiting the waiver and addendum page.
Have more questions? Send us an email.
Looking for the old FAQs? We’ve archived them.