The Senate Source

May 2015

Senate Urges Continued Funding for Open Access Policy

The Academic Senate’s new Open Access Policy requires a sustained commitment of funding from UCOP to ensure its continued success, urges a recent letter from the Academic Council to Provost Dorr.

The Policy adopted by the Senate in 2013 gives UC a limited, non-exclusive right to make articles published by UC faculty freely available in an open-access repository (eScholarship) maintained by the California Digital Library (CDL). A report from the University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC) and the CDL notes that the roll-out of the policy last year on three pilot campuses – UCI, UCSF, and UCLA – has been successful. The policy is now in effect on all ten UC campuses.

A new publication management system was launched for UCLA faculty in January and for UCSF and UCI faculty in March, in support of the policy. The harvester automatically collects information about faculty-authored articles and facilitates their deposit into eScholarship—promoting compliance with the policy by making it easy for faculty to claim and deposit their publications. Data from the CDL show that there has been a dramatic increase in deposits of previously published papers into eScholarship following the launch of the harvester on the pilot campuses. (See chart below.) Other campuses will have access to the tool later in 2015.

The policy implementation also includes an online mechanism that allows Senate authors to opt-out of the open access license through a waiver or to request a temporary embargo for any publication, should it be necessary.

These new deposits join over 80,000 other publications in eScholarship, where they are openly discoverable by researchers across the world via academic indexes and search engines. To date, open access publications in eScholarship have reached over 25 million views, significantly amplifying the global impact of UC research. (All authors receive monthly usage reports from eScholarship, detailing the number of views and downloads of their articles.)

The existing policy applies to Senate faculty only, but a proposed Presidential Open Access Policy would extend its provisions to non-Senate UC authors. The Senate endorsed that policy in February, after a systemwide review.  

Council’s letter asks UCOP to continue its support for the publication management tool and other aspects of implementation after the temporary budget expires this fall. Council is concerned that the Open Access initiative may lose momentum and eventually fail without a sustained institutional commitment from UCOP. A clear and sustained commitment to open access will also help demonstrate to politicians the extent of UC’s commitment to transparency and research in the public interest. Council’s letter urges UCOP to work with the CDL to secure the resources for ongoing support and implementation of the policy.

Visit the Implementation Plan to learn more about the timeline for systemwide roll-out of the publication management system.

More information about the UC Open Access Policy is available on the Open Access Policy pages.