The Academic Senate of the University of California recently adopted an open access policy which will make future research done at all 10 UC campuses available to the public at no charge. The new “green” open access policy grants the University a non-exclusive license to make the scholarly output of more than 8,000 UC faculty freely available online through the eScholarship institutional repository.
This announcement should have a major impact on scholarly publishing because the University of California is currently the largest public research university system in the world. Its faculty receive approximately 8% of all research funding in the U.S. and generate 2-3% of all peer-reviewed articles published in the world – as many as 40,000 publications per year. The official UC press release makes the game-changing intent of the policy explicit, stating, “The adoption of this policy across the UC system [...] 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.”
Professor Richard Schneider, Chair of the Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication at UCSF, emphasizes the public benefit of the new policy, saying, “The UC Systemwide adoption of an Open Access (OA) Policy represents a major leap forward for the global OA movement and a well-deserved return to taxpayers who will now finally be able to see first-hand the published byproducts of their deeply appreciated investments in research.”