In the Spring of 2012, the faculty of the University of California will be discussing an Open Access policy for the university. The effort is being coordinated by the University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication and will result in a draft policy for consideration by the system-wide faculty Senate and the campuses beginning as early as possible. The document, An Open Access Policy for the University of California: Materials for Discussion and Consultation, includes a model policy, frequently asked questions, an implementation plan, and campus contacts.
Similar policies have been adopted by other major research universities, including Harvard, Duke, MIT, Kansas, and Princeton. Under the model policy, faculty would grant to the university the non-exclusive right to make a version of their published journal articles openly accessible to the public through deposit in an open access repository, such as CDL's eScholarship or the PubMed repository of the National Institutes of Health. Open access to UC-authored scholarly journal articles is expected to increase the visibility and impact of the university's knowledge products and allow public access to research funded through taxpayer dollars. The policy debate will also raise faculty awareness of author rights and how they can manage these rights, in order to help create a sustainable alternative to subscription-only access.
UCSB librarians, especially members of the Scholarly Communication Committee, are eager to discuss the issues with faculty and assist in implementing the policy if it is approved.