CDL Launches Open Access Support Tools
The Open Access policy for faculty publications the Academic Senate approved in July 2013 is now being implemented at three UC campuses on a pilot basis.
On November 1, The Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC) launched a set of web-based tools and resources to support faculty who want to deposit their scholarly articles in eScholarship, UC’s open-access repository maintained by the California Digital Library (CDL), or who wish to opt-out of the policy by completing a waiver or embargo form. The OSC website, http://osc.universityofcalifornia.edu, also provides more information about the policy.
The policy grants UC a limited, non-exclusive right to make scholarly articles published by UC faculty freely available in eScholarship. In effect, it reserves the right of UC faculty to make their work publicly available online, rather than signing away to their publishers all rights for further distribution.
The policy will be implemented in phases, with UCI, UCLA, and UCSF as pilot campuses during the 2013-14 academic year. Faculty on these campuses are expected either to deposit their articles in eScholarship or to indicate if their publications are already openly available elsewhere. They may also “opt out” and direct the University to waive the license requirement for a particular article (possibly because their publisher requires it.) Though the 2013-14 implementation is focused on the three pilot campuses, faculty on the other seven UC campuses are welcome to deposit their articles in eScholarship immediately if they wish.
The website offers the following:
- a FAQ page detailing the terms of the policy and its implementation
- a streamlined article deposit process into eScholarship
- a waiver or embargo request mechanism
- a list of campus library contacts who are available to help faculty sort through the details of the policy
California Digital Library officials say that while the article deposit process must currently be initiated by faculty members or someone they delegate to act on their behalf, CDL plans to have a “harvesting” tool in place by the end of this academic year that helps automate the task of article deposit.
The CDL has also notified over 600 publishers about the UC policy and requested their cooperation with its terms. As a result of this outreach, faculty on campuses that are not participating in the pilot deposit project may receive inquiries from publishers and should use the resources on the website and on their campuses if they have any questions or concerns.
A Task Force that includes representatives from the Senate, the Office of Academic Personnel, the CDL, UC Libraries, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, and the Office of General Counsel has been convened to develop a Presidential Open Access policy that could extend the Senate policy to other academic staff. The Senate will also review and report on the progress and impact of implementation in May 2014. Following evaluations of any concerns and benefits, the Senate will decide by November 2014 whether to expand implementation to the remaining seven campuses, to alter the policy, or to revoke it.
“Open Access benefits faculty by making their research freely available to the public, and may increase citation rates,” said Senate Chair Jacob. “It will also direct more public attention to the cutting-edge research that UC faculty produce. I encourage all faculty to begin making their work available.”