The UC Academic Senate announced Friday that it has approved an open access research policy to ensure that all UC faculty research will be made freely available to the public.
Starting in November, academic papers published by UC researchers will be available for free through eScholarship, a UC scholarly publishing service.
The new policy, adopted on July 24, will cover 8,000 UC faculty members at all UC campuses and will facilitate the publication of up to 40,000 papers each year. Papers will still be published in scholarly journals but must be made available for free through eScholarship.
“(The) council’s intent is to make these articles widely — and freely — available in order to advance research everywhere,” said Robert Powell, chair of the Academic Council, in a press release Friday.
Faculty members, however, will also be given the choice to delay or opt out of the policy on a per-article basis.
The decision is part of a broader academic movement to provide open access to publications across the country, particularly for publicly funded research.
The University of California has openly supported AB 609, a California assembly bill that would require publicly funded research institutions to make their research available freely online.
“Scholars at the University of California have a vested interest in ensuring that their work reaches the widest possible audience, including members of the public whose tax dollars support the University’s research,” the university said in a statement regarding the bill. “This increasing restriction on the dissemination of research results runs counter to the spirit in which UC faculty, researchers and students undertake their scholarly activity.”
The Obama administration mandated in February that federally funded research be made publicly available within a year of publication.
As of May, the university spent about $30 million annually on access to 7,500 academic journals, according to UC officials.