Many authors publish articles in journals that only provide access to paid subscribers. In many cases, these authors can still ensure broad access to their work by posting a version of these articles in an open access repository. This type of open access is sometimes called “Green” open access to distinguish it from publisher-hosted or “Gold” open access.

Institutional Repositories

Hundreds of universities in the United States – and thousands around the world – host open access institutional repositories to highlight the research and publications of their faculty. The eScholarship repository and publishing platform enables the UC academic community to post previously published works; distribute pre-prints, working papers, theses and dissertations; and publish new materials such as books, journals, and conference proceedings.

Subject Repositories

Subject repositories are open to scholars all over the world who publish work in a particular discipline. Some of the larger ones include:

  • RePEc: Research Papers in Economics
  • arXiv: Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics
  • SSRN: Social Science Research Network
  • PubMed Central: Biomedicine and Life Sciences

Copyright and Contracts

Publishers generally require authors to sign a publishing agreement as a condition of publication. These agreements spell out the rights of the authors and the publishers, and they often restrict an author’s right to post a publication in an open access repository. UC’s Open Access Policies limit those restrictions. (See below.)

UC Open Access Policies

UC authors are covered by the UC Open Access Policies. These policies allow authors to post scholarly articles in eScholarship or another repository regardless of the terms of their publishing agreement, as long as the agreement was signed after the adoption of the policy. As long as your publisher does not request a waiver of the UC policy and your publication is covered by the policy, you are fully empowered to make your publication openly available immediately upon publication. Learn more about the UC Open Access Policies.

Publications not covered by the UC Open Access Policies

The UC Open Access Policies does not give authors rights to post

  • articles written by authors who are not UC employees (e.g. many students);
  • articles for which an agreement was signed before the policies were passed;
  • articles for which authors have obtained a waiver of the policy;
  • publications that are not “scholarly articles,” e.g., books, popular articles, musical scores, creative fiction, etc.

For any of these publications, you will want to check your publishing agreement, before attempting to post in a repository, to see what conditions you originally agreed to. If you don’t have your old agreements, or want to know about the policies of journals you’re thinking about publishing in, you can search the SHERPA/RoMEO database to find out which publishers and journals allow open access archiving.

For more in depth information about copyright, visit the UC Copyright site.