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Open Access at UC Davis

by Michael Ladisch – September 6, 2019

The University of California has two open access policies in place – the UC Academic Senate faculty Open Access Policy and the Presidential Open Access Policy – to ensure that all authors of scholarly journal articles across the UC-system are able to make their work available to the public on eScholarship at no cost. This guide provides resources for those at UC Davis wanting to learn more about open access, publishing open access, and how to deposit their work in compliance with the UC Open Access Policies.

In this Guide:

Open access (OA) literature is: digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

There are two major approaches to OA:

  • Green:  publishing in traditional journals and archiving in open access repositories, such as eScholarship, arXiv, and SSRN
  • Gold:  publishing in open access journals

Open Access Explained!

A collaboration between Right to Research Coalition and PhD Comics

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has had a Public Access policy in effect since 2008, enabling NIH-funded research to be made openly available to the world via PubMed Central.  This successful policy inspired a broader implementation of Public Access policies across the federal government.

On February 22, 2013, the Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memo to Federal agencies funding over $100 million in research and development, to develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government.  Since that date, many agencies have issued Public Access Policies for anyone receiving agency research funding.  These policies address not only traditional research publication in the form of a journal article; many now also mandate data arrangement plans as a requirement for all funded research grants.

The U.S. Federal government maintains a page with the details of each agency’s plan and effective date – including those that are already active like NIH, and other agencies who are intending to launch their policies in the future.  For up to date information, view the Implementation of Public Access Programs in Federal Agencies page.

In July 2013, the Academic Senate of the University of California adopted the UC Systemwide Academic Senate Open Access Policy, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC would be made available to the public at no charge. Then, in October 2015, the Presidential Open Access Policy expanded these open access rights and responsibilities to all other authors who write scholarly articles while employed at UC, including non-senate researchers, lecturers, post-doctoral scholars, administrative staff, librarians, and graduate students. For the UC Open Access Policy Explained view this link.

Learn more about the UC Open Access Policies.

To assist UC authors covered by UC open access policies, the UC Publication Management System is available to Senate Faculty and non-Senate UC Employees.

Learn how to deposit your work into the UC Publication Management System or see the section below on Managing Your Publications.

For Senate Faculty
Senate faculty are contacted via email to verify their list of articles within the UC Publication Management system and to upload a copy or provide a link to an open access version of their publications. Faculty can also log in to the system at any time by visiting the UC Publication Management System at For a quick start guide, view this step-by-step PDF or visit the UC Office of Scholarly Communication page.

The following steps may be helpful:

  • Use your UCD Kerberos logon to log in to the publications management system linked in the email.
  • After you log in, there’s a two-step process to follow.
    You will first need to confirm authorship of articles that seem to match your name and credentials. The system then identifies which of those articles are covered by the policies, and provides a way to upload the manuscripts to complete the deposit.
  • You can delegate management of your publications to someone else, such as departmental support staff. Click on the relevant link in the email for instructions.
  • If you have any trouble, contact us at

For Non-Senate UC Employees
Deposit for these authors is managed through eScholarship, UC’s open access repository and publishing platform. Visit this UC site and select your campus in the drop-down menu, to begin the deposit process – or to notify us that your publication is already available in another open access repository. (Note: you will be asked to log in. If you don’t yet have an eScholarship account, you will have the opportunity to create one.) For a quick start guide, view this step-by-step PDF or visit the UC Office of Scholarly Communication page.

For work that is not covered by the UC Open Access Policy, publishers’ policies vary on the re-publication of articles or books.  Most journal publishers permit  authors to post accepted journal manuscripts to an nonprofit institutional repository, with some requiring an embargo or delay (Laasko, 2014). Here are some resources:

Before you sign the copyright transfer agreement with the publisher, read and understand the terms.  Consider modifying with the SPARC Author Addendum, a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles.

Refer to the signed copyright transfer agreement to understand whether open access by posting online or submission to a digital repository is permitted.

Sherpa / RoMEO maintains a database of publisher / journal postprint and preprint policies.  Verify the information on Sherpa / RoMEO with the publisher / journal because it is not always current.  Sherpa/RoMEO provides links to related information on journal and publisher’s websites.

Determine which version of your scholarly work you may post and whether an embargo is required.  Many journals will NOT permit you to post the final published article; however, many will permit posting of the author’s accepted manuscript.  See Table for guidance on confusing version language.

Table:  Different versions of green OA copies (Bjork, Laakso, & Welling, 2014).

Definition   Terms used
Working paper A working paper uploaded to an e-print repository Preprint, Author’s unsubmitted draft
Submitted manuscript The version of the manuscript submitted to the journal Preprint, Author’s original draft
Accepted manuscript The accepted version, after peer review but prior to the final copy-editing and layout Postprint, Personal version, Accepted author manuscript, Final author version
Published article An exact digital replicate of the published article Postprint, Version of record, Publisher’s version, Published journal article

List of Academic Journals by Preprint Policy.

Bjork, B.-C.,  Laaskso, M., & Welling, P. (2014). Anatomy of green access.  Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(2), 237-250.  doi: 10.1002/asi.22963

Laakso, M. (2013). Green open access policies of scholarly journal publishers: a study of what, when, and where self-archiving is allowed. Scientometrics. In press. doi: 10.1007/s11192-013-1205-3

The UC California Curation Center (UC3) helps researchers and the UC libraries manage, preserve, and provide access to their important digital assets.

Learn more about the services and tools available to you, including Dash, the DMPTool, EZID, and Merritt, at the UC California Curation Center site.

Dissertations and Theses
Here are links to webpages that describe the current approach at UC Davis to submission, discovery, and access to electronic theses and dissertations (ETD):

In addition to deposit and indexing into ProQuest, some UC Campuses are providing access to ETDs in eScholarship, in order to preserve these scholarly works and, if desired, provide public access:

During the June 2013 GSA Assembly Meeting, the following resolution was approved:

” The Graduate Student Association requests that graduate students, librarians, faculty, and administrators form a task force to develop a policy that would make electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) more secure and provide Open Access to ETDs to California taxpayers and other relevant stakeholders. Any policy for ETDs should include digital archiving by a University of California institution, like the California Digital Library, and should be written with extensive graduate student input. “

Looking to gain quick and easy access to fulltext articles online? Here are some free alternative access SEARCH TOOLS and PLUGINS you might want to try:


Google Scholar:
Find open versions of articles via Google Scholar or, to make searching more convenient, add the Google Scholar Button to your browser (for Chrome or Firefox); then select the title of a paper, from any webpage, and click the Scholar button to find it.

PubMed Central:
Search this free archive of over 5 million full-text biomedical and life science journal articles.


Install this browser plugin to download free, full-text PDFs when available. Watch our one-minute video to learn how.

Open Access Button:
Use their website or browser plugin to get free, legal research articles and data delivered immediately or automatically requested from the author. Watch our one-minute video to learn how.

Install the browser plugin and a green tab with a padlock icon will appear in your browser with a direct link to the full-text article if a free version is available. Watch our one-minute video to learn how. *NOTE: For Chrome browsers, once it is downloaded, you may go to settings and select OA Nerd Mode, where the unlock tab will show whether the fulltext is Green, Gold, or Bronze open access!

For more information on Other Ways to Access Articles, visit this site.

For more information, please visit the Library’s Open Access Publishing page.

Additional resources on publishing open access, UC Press open access, and open data, may also be found at the UC Office of Scholarly Communication site Open Access Publishing at UC.

Journal articles may be published open access either in full OA journals, where all content is openly available, or hybrid journals, where a portion of the content is openly available and the remainder of the content is available by subscription only. Some publishers charge a fee, known as an Article Processing Charge (APC), for open access publication; for a full OA journal the APC is generally a requirement for publication, while for a hybrid journal the author may choose to pay an APC to make content openly available.

Some of the following discounts are obtained through paid memberships, some are negotiated into institutional licenses with the publisher, and some are offered by the publisher in exchange for subscriptions.

  • Publishers and journals found at this link, offer a discount to UC authors who are paying APCs to make their articles openly available.
  • Publishers and journals listed below, offer a discount to UC Davis authors who are paying APCs to make their articles openly available.

UC Davis-Author Publishing Discounts:

The UC Davis Library maintains two funds to support the open access publication of scholarly articles, book chapters, and monographs.

The Open Access Fund supports UC Davis Academic Senate, Academic Federation members, faculty, post-docs, residents, fellows, and graduate students who want to make their journal articles or book chapters free to all readers immediately upon publication. The fund provides eligible Davis authors reimbursement up to $1000 per article or chapter for open access fees for those publishing in fully open access journals or books (in which all articles or chapters are published open access).

The TOME Fund supports UC Davis Academic Senate and emeriti faculty, and Academic Federation members who wish to publish open access books. A broad list of university presses are committed to supporting this project, making many authors under contract for traditional book publication eligible to apply and instead release their books on open access terms.

TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) advances the wide dissemination of scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members through open access editions of peer-reviewed and professionally edited monographs.

Scholars face growing difficulty in finding publishers for their monographs as academic library budgets shrink and demand for monographs falls. To collaboratively address this problem, the Association of American Universities (AAU)Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses) launched this initiative in spring 2017.

Below is a list of the UC Davis TOME-Funded publications to date:

Cogdell, Cristina. Toward a Living Architecture? Complexism and Biology in Generative Design. University of Minnesota Press, 2018.

Bloom, Gina. Gaming the Stage: Playable Media and the Rise of English Commercial Theater. University of Michigan Press, Theater: History/Text/Performance series, 2018.

Milburn, Colin. Respawn: Gamers, Hackers, and Technogenic Life. Duke University Press, Experimental Futures series, 2018.

U, Eddy. Creating the Intellectual: Chinese Communism and the Rise of a Classification. University of California Press, In Press.