Information is increasingly available online, often for free, and scholarly publications are no exception. Open access scholarly publications are, as Peter Suber describes them, “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions,” and they may be available at a publisher’s website or placed in a repository by an author. Open access journals are proliferating, as are open access policies at institutions of higher education and, mostly recently, open access book programs. Why the growing interest among scholars in choosing open access for their publications?

Increasing Your Visibility – and Contributing to the Public Good

If you want your writing to reach as many people as possible, why limit your audience to those who can pay to read it?

Open access removes barriers between readers and scholarly publications: open access works are read more, have higher download rates, and are accessed more broadly than their subscription/sales counterparts. Public service also lies at the heart of the University of California’s mission, and providing broad access to the university’s research output is a way to give back to the public and to demonstrate the value of academic work.

Increasingly, higher education institutions are investing in ensuring the broad distribution of their researchers’ work via open access licensing agreements with commercial publishers, institution-based or library-based open access publishing programs, and the adoption and implementation of wide-ranging open access policies. Read on to learn how you can increase the visibility of your research by reaching new communities of scholars and readers worldwide.

Fulfilling Requirements

Governments, universities, and funding agencies — all interested in the value of their investment in scholarly research — are increasingly requiring that the publications derived from grant-funded research be made publicly available.

  • The Policies & Legislation page has more details about federal and state requirements.
  • The UC Open Access Policies section has more information about the University of California Open Access Policies.
  • SHERPA/JULIET tracks the open access policy requirements of research funders all over the world, and ROARMAP tracks both funder policies and institutional (e.g., university and college) policies.

Learn more about how you can take advantage of UC’s open access strategies to make your research openly available.