Open Access at UC Davis

by Michael Ladisch – August 21, 2020

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.

Springer Nature

In June 2020, the University of California (UC) and Springer Nature announced that they have entered into a groundbreaking transformative open access agreement, the first such agreement Springer Nature has established in the United States, and the largest transformative open access agreement in North America to date.

The agreement will be implemented in three phases. In phase I, to begin later in 2020, all articles by UC corresponding authors that are accepted for publication in Springer’s subscription-based journals will be published open access at no cost to the author. In phase II, which starts in January 2021, a full open access workflow will be in place, through which the UC libraries will pay at least the first $1,000 toward the Article Processing Charge or APC, for all subscription and full open access titles in the Springer portion of the Springer Nature portfolio.

For more information, see the UC Office of Scholarly Communication website. Note that this agreement is not active yet.

Public Library of Science (PLoS)

The University of California and the non-profit open access publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS) have entered an agreement that will make it easier and more affordable for UC authors to publish on one of the PLoS journals.

When implemented, UC libraries will pay at least $1,000 of the article processing charges (APC) for articles with a UC corresponding author. The author will be asked to pay the remainder if grant funds are available, or, if grant funds are not available, PLOS will then charge the full APC to the UC libraries.

For more details on the agreement visit the UC Office of Scholarly Communications website.

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

A three year agreement (starting January 1, 2020) with ACM will enable UC authors to publish all articles and conference proceedings in ACM Digital Library immediately without any cost for the author. The article publication cost as well as the subscription to all ACM content is covered by a bulk fee that UC libraries is paying.

In addition, all UC corresponding authors can choose to retain copyright in their articles regardless of open access status, and ACM will automatically deposit a copy of all UC-authored articles, including those for which the UC author is not the corresponding author, into the UC repository eScholarship.

For more details on the agreement visit the UC Office of Scholarly Communications website.

Cambridge University Press Journals

Under an agreement between the University of California and Cambridge University Press all UC corresponding authors are offered a 30% discount on fees for open access publishing in a Cambridge journal. The UC Libraries will then pay the first $1,000 towards the discounted fee. Authors who have access to grant funding to cover the remaining amount will be asked to use these funds. For authors without grant funding, UC Libraries will pay the full fee.

The agreement includes most of Cambridge’s 400+ journals, with the exception of some society journals that don’t yet offer an open access option.

For more information visit the FAQ page for the agreement.

Frontiers Journals

UC Davis authors who publish in any of Frontier’s open access journals will enjoy a 10% discount on article processing charges (APCs) starting in 2020. For a list of Frontiers journal titles, click here.

Frontier journals are all fully open access, therefore UC Davis authors who publish on one of the journals are eligible for support through the library’s Open Access Fund.

JMIR Publications

Open access resources for evidence-based digital health research

University of California and JMIR Publications have launched a two-year partnership that will make it easier and more affordable for researchers to publish in one of JMIR’s 30+ open access journals.

UC Libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of Article Processing Charges (APC) for UC authors. The remaining charges should be paid out of grant funding. Authors who do not have research funds available can request financial assistance from the libraries for the remainder of the APC.

For details about the process see UC Office of Scholarly Communications or JIMR’s website.

MDPI Journals

Across all disciplines, 205 diverse, peer-reviewed, open access journals supported by over 35,500 academic editors

Offers a 10% discount on APCs in all MDPI journals to UC Davis authors. For a list of MDPI Journal titles, click here.

MDPI journals are all fully open access, therefore UC Davis authors who publish on one of the journals are eligible for support through the library’s Open Access Fund.

BMJ Case Reports & BMJ Veterinary Record Case Reports

For authors in human health sciences and veterinary medicine, UC Davis Library has purchased an institutional subscription (fellowship), giving all faculty, staff and students the ability to submit articles to these two BMJ case reports journals for free (no APF/article publication fees), as well as enabling access and reuse of the articles published in the journals.

Subscription (or fellowship) codes to access and submit to these journals, are available here (restricted to UC Davis faculty, students, and staff; UC Davis CAS login is required.)

Other discounts

Other discounts offered to UC authors can be found on this page.

For any questions related to these agreements and to open access publishing in general, please contact the library’s Scholarly Communications Officer Michael Ladisch,, (530) 752 6385.


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:

Biagioli, Mario and Alexandra Lippman (eds.) Gaming the Metrics: Misconduct and Manipulation in Academic Research. MIT Press 2020.

Bloom, Gina. Gaming the Stage: Playable Media and the Rise of English Commercial TheaterUniversity of Michigan Press, 2018.

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

Fallon, Kris. Where Truth Lies: Digital Culture and Documentary Media After 9/11. University of California Press, 2019

Freeman, Elizabeth. Beside You In Time: Sense Methods and Queer Sociabilities in the American Nineteenth Century. Duke University Press, 2019.

Klima, Alan. Ethnography #9. Duke University Press, 2019

Maoz, Zeev and Errol A. Henderson. Scriptures, Shrines, Scapegoats, and World Politics: Religious Sources of Conflict and Cooperation in the Modern Era. University of Michigan Press, 2020

McCourt, David (ed.) American Power and International Theory at the Council on Foreign Relations, 1953-54. University of Michigan Press, 2020

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

Smoodin, Eric. Paris in the Dark: Going to the Movies in the City of Light, 1930-1950. Duke University Press, 2020

U, Eddy. Creating the Intellectual: Chinese Communism and the Rise of a Classification. University of California Press, 2019.