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Anneliese Taylor
Anneliese is the Head of Scholarly Communication. Contact Anneliese for help evaluating journals and publishers, assessing research impact, and for scholarly publishing resources.

University of California Issues Policy on Open Access for Theses and Dissertations

On March 25, 2020, the University of California issued a Policy on Open Access for Theses and Dissertations. The systemwide policy, which aligns with those already in place at UCSF and other UC campuses, “requires theses or dissertations prepared at the University to be (1) deposited into an open access repository, and (2) freely and openly available to the public, subject to a requested delay of access (“embargo”) obtained by the student.” This policy does not change the copyright status for students: UC students will retain the copyright for their thesis or dissertation as they always have.

With this policy, “the University affirms the long-standing tradition that theses and dissertations, which represent significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge and the scholarly record, should be shared with scholars in all disciplines and the general public.” This new policy aligns with the UCSF Graduate Division’s decision last year to make UCSF’s electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) available through eScholarship, UC’s open access repository and publishing platform. Through a partnership between the UCSF Graduate Division, the Library, and the California Digital Library, 1,900 ETDs published since 2007 were transferred to eScholarship, and all subsequent ETDs are made available on the platform.

Each campus graduate division retains the authority to determine procedures for thesis and dissertation filing locally, as well as policies for embargoes. UCSF Graduate Division students will continue to submit their ETDs to ProQuest for inclusion in the Dissertations & Theses database, and all documents will automatically be transferred to eScholarship for no additional charge. Further guidelines for students are available from the Graduate Division.


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