The University of Southampton

Significant success for global Open Access movement

Published: 5 August 2013

In a significant boost to the global movement for Open Access to research publications, the University of California has announced the adoption of an Open Access Policy.

Research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of the University of California will in future be available to the public without charge in tandem with their publication in scholarly journals.

The adoption of the policy comes after six years of formal review and revision, but as the largest public research university in the world, receiving around 8 per cent of all research funding in the United States, the scale of the University’s commitment to public accessibility of research has been welcomed by campaigners for global Open Access (OA).

The University of California has adopted a ‘green’ open access policy meaning that faculty members make their research available, free for all on the Web.

Professor Stevan Harnad, one of the leading figures in the global OA movement, and Professor in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, commented: “The adoption of a Green Open Access Mandate by the University of California, one of the biggest universities in the US - actually 10 universities - follows on the heels of the directive by President Obama to the 20 biggest federal research funding councils to mandate Green OA.

“This is a welcome and timely counterweight to the recent retrograde steps by Research Councils UK toward squandering scarce UK research funds on paying instead for Gold OA publishing. Fortunately, HEFCE's proposed Green OA mandate for eligibility for REF 2020, if adopted, will again put the UK back in the worldwide lead in the OA sweepstakes.”

The University of California commented: “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.”

ECS designed and adopted the world’s first Green OA self-archiving mandate for its published research in 2001. Its EPrints software is the world’s first and most powerful repository software, used in libraries and research institutions around the world.

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