The Academic Senate of the University of California has passed an Open Access Policy, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge. "The Academic Council's adoption of this policy on July 24, 2013, came after a six-year process culminating in two years of formal review and revision," said Robert Powell, chair of the Academic Council. "Council's intent is to make these articles widely—and freely— available in order to advance research everywhere." Articles will be available to the public without charge via eScholarship (UC's open access repository) in tandem with their publication in scholarly journals. Open access benefits researchers, educational institutions, businesses, research funders and the public by accelerating the pace of research, discovery and innovation and contributing to the mission of advancing knowledge and encouraging new ideas and services.
Chris Kelty, Associate Professor of Information Studies, UCLA, and chair of the UC University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC), explains, "This policy will cover more faculty and more research than ever before, and it sends a powerful message that faculty want open access and they want it on terms that benefit the public and the future of research."
The policy covers more than 8,000 UC faculty at all 10 campuses of the University of California, and as many as 40,000 publications a year. It follows more than 175 other universities who have adopted similar so-called "green" open access policies. By granting a license to the University of California prior to any contractual arrangement with publishers, faculty members can now make their research widely and publicly available, re-use it for various purposes, or modify it for future research publications. Previously, publishers had sole control of the distribution of these articles. All research publications covered by the policy will continue to be subjected to rigorous peer review; they will still appear in the most prestigious journals across all fields; and they will continue to meet UC's standards of high quality. Learn more about the policy and its implementation here: http://osc.universityofcalifornia.edu/openaccesspolicy/
UC is the largest public research university in the world and its faculty members receive roughly 8% of all research funding in the U.S. With this policy UC Faculty make a commitment to the public accessibility of research, especially, but not only, research paid for with public funding by the people of California and the United States. This initiative is in line with the recently announced White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directive requiring "each Federal Agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to results of the research funded by the Federal Government." The new UC Policy also follows a similar policy passed in 2012 by the Academic Senate at the University of California, San Francisco, which is a health sciences campus.
"The UC Systemwide adoption of an Open Access (OA) Policy represents a major leap forward for the global OA movement and a well-deserved return to taxpayers who will now finally be able to see first-hand the published byproducts of their deeply appreciated investments in research" said Richard A. Schneider, Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and chair of the Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication at UCSF. "The ten UC campuses generate around 2-3% of all the peer-reviewed articles published in the world every year, and this policy will make many of those articles freely available to anyone who is interested anywhere, whether they are colleagues, students, or members of the general public"
The adoption of this policy across the UC system also signals to scholarly publishers that open access, in terms defined by faculty and not by publishers, must be part of any future scholarly publishing system. The faculty remains committed to working with publishers to transform the publishing landscape in ways that are sustainable and beneficial to both the University and the public.