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Open Access Policy Background

The UCSF Academic Senate passed an Open Access Policy for UCSF at the May 21, 2012 Division Meeting (see press release). The policy enables Senate Faculty to deposit their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts of scholarly articles in an open access repository such as eScholarship, thus making their work widely and publicly available. See who is covered by the Senate policy.

No payment is required by authors or readers. Authors may publish where they wish. The policy works by granting UC a license prior to any contractual arrangements with publishers. With few exceptions, authors can exercise their right to deposit their articles immediately, regardless of the copyright transfer agreement signed with the publisher. About 200 publishers were notified about the terms of the UC Open Access Policy.

A UC-wide Open Access Policy ( was passed by the Academic Council on July 24, 2013. UCSF’s Academic Senate endorsed this policy, but agreed to abide by the terms in the pre-existing UCSF policy. UCSF’s policy differs in two ways:

  1. Use of the articles is strictly non-commercial, unless an agreement allowing such use was signed (such as a CC BY license without the -NC).
  2. Articles must be deposited in eScholarship for archiving even if an author opts out (gets a waiver).

On October 23, 2015, a UC Presidential Open Access Policy was passed that expands open access rights and responsibilities to all other authors who write scholarly articles while employed at the University of California. This policy covers non-Senate faculty, researchers, post-doctoral scholars, residents and clinical fellows, staff, librarians, and graduate students. See who is covered by the Presidential Policy.

Additional Information

  1. 90-second video about the Policy
  2. Decision Trees for UCSF personnel: Academic Senate | All Others
  3. Policy Frequently Asked Questions
  4. UCSF Academic Senate Policy: Policy textSupporting documents
  5. UC Academic Senate Policy: Policy textSupporting documents
  6. UC Presidential Open Access Policy

The UCSF Library and the California Digital Library are working with the Academic Senate to support the implementation of the policy.

Send questions about the policy by email, or call 415-476-8415.