Today the University of California expands the reach of its research publications by issuing a Presidential Open Access Policy, allowing future scholarly articles authored by all UC employees to be freely shared with readers worldwide. Building on UC’s previously-adopted Academic Senate open access (OA) policies, this new policy enables the university system and associated national labs to provide unprecedented access to scholarly research authored by clinical faculty, lecturers, staff researchers, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and librarians – just to name a few. Comprising ten campuses, five medical centers, three national laboratories and nearly 200,000 employees, the UC system is responsible for over 2% of the world’s total research publications. UC’s collective OA policies now cover more authors than any other institutional OA policy to date.

 The Presidential OA Policy represents the culmination of significant effort among UC faculty and staff to support increased access to their research publications, from the adoption of the first UC senate OA policy (UCSF) in 2012, to the establishment of the more comprehensive UC-wide Academic Senate policy in 2013. “Until now, tenure-track faculty have had the privilege of passing such policies to govern themselves, but at most universities, such faculty are a fraction of the people who do research and publish articles,” explains Christopher Kelty, professor of Information Studies and Anthropology at UCLA and chair of the Presidential Open Access Policy Task Force. “Extending the same rights to those who aren’t part of a faculty governance system is an important and difficult step–I’m thrilled we have accomplished it.”

Meredith Niles, who recently received her Ph.D. in Ecology from UC Davis, agrees. Niles, now an assistant professor at the University of Vermont, is former External Chair for the UC Davis Graduate Student Association and was involved in the GSA’s efforts to advocate for greater OA rights for graduate students, one of the many groups who will now benefit from the new policy. “Students have already recognized that significant academic contributions come from all corners of our university. UC Davis students passed resolutions urging UC to consider extending the open access policy to graduate students. Now UC has taken the next step to affirm what graduate students have already demonstrated: a strong desire to make all scholarly research, regardless of its source, openly available to all members of society,” says Niles.

UC’s OA policies enable UC authors to grant rights to the university prior to any contractual arrangement with publishers. Authors can then rely on those rights to make their research widely and publicly available via eScholarship (UC’s open access repository), in tandem with their publication in scholarly journals. These rights also enable authors to reuse their articles for various purposes or to modify them for future publications. Previously, publishers had sole control of the distribution of these articles.

Scholarly articles covered by the policy will continue to be subjected to rigorous peer review where appropriate, and UC employees remain free to publish their research in journals of their own choosing. The important difference is, this vast body of research will now be available to communities worldwide, regardless of their location or their level of access to subscription-based publications. Susan Carlson, Vice Provost for Academic Personnel and Programs notes, “With the Presidential Open Access Policy’s inclusion of scholarly articles authored by a wide range of UC researchers, the University affirms its mission as a forward-looking public research institution in service to the people of California and to scholars around the world.”

Learn more about open access policies and their implementations at UC:

Visit eScholarship, UC’s open access repository.

By fall of 2015, all UC Senate faculty will have access to a new publication management system that searches scholarly databases for faculty article records, emails authors when new articles are found, and supports easy deposit of those articles into eScholarship, UC’s open access repository and publishing platform. This “harvesting” system is currently being implemented across the UC campuses in response to the Academic Senate’s call for an efficient mechanism for facilitating faculty participation in the UC Open Access policy. While the initial focus has been on supporting the Open Access Policy, the system also has the ability to connect to new and existing campus systems like faculty profile pages, offering the potential for streamlining additional publication reporting and management processes in the future.

Three pilot campuses have launched the system, and the results thus far are both impressive and encouraging:

PMS vs 2014

  • UCLA contacted over 3,000 faculty members on January 14 to encourage them to log into the publication management system and “claim” their publication records,and then deposit them into eScholarship by providing a digital file or an open access link. In the first three months, faculty deposited 948 articles into eScholarship via this system. In contrast, during the same period in 2014, UCLA faculty deposited only 54 previously published articles into eScholarship. The UCLA Library provides information and support for UCLA faculty with questions about the publication harvesting system on their Publication Management System page.
  • UC Irvine launched on March 11, contacting over 1,400 faculty who, in the first five weeks, deposited 643 articles, compared to 168 manually deposited articles in the same period in 2014. Local support for UC Irvine users is provided at the UC Irvine Library’s UC Publication Management System page.
  • UCSF contacted over 1600 faculty members on March 31. Within the first two weeks following launch, those faculty deposited 378 publications, compared to just one publication during the same period last year. UCSF faculty with questions about the Open Access Policy or publication management system can contact the UCSF library through their UCSF Open Access Policy page.

These new deposits join over 80,000 other publications in eScholarship, where they are openly discoverable by researchers across the world via academic indexes and search engines. To date, open access publications in eScholarship have reached over 25 million views, significantly amplifying the global impact of UC research. (All authors receive monthly usage reports from eScholarship, detailing the number of views and downloads of their articles.) Below is an example of how a deposited article appears in eScholarship.

UCI example annotated

View this article on eScholarship.

Faculty authors can participate in the open access policy either by depositing a file or by providing a link to a freely available version of their article in an open access journal or open access repository such as PubMed Central or SSRN. Faculty at UCLA, UC Irvine, or UCSF can begin this process by clicking on the link in an email alert they will periodically receive from  the publication management system. Those faculty who work at campuses that have not yet implemented the system or who wish to deposit a publication that the system has not contacted them about can use the Deposit page.

Visit the Implementation Plan to learn more about the timeline for systemwide roll-out of the publication management system.

More information about the UC Open Access Policy is available on the Open Access Policy pages.

With the University of California Open Access Policy entering its second phase of implementation, faculty at all ten UC campuses will now be required to submit their publications to eScholarship in compliance with the policy. That means we can all count on a surge of faculty questions and requests for help in the next few months!

Join Catherine Mitchell and Justin Gonder from the California Digital Library to learn more about the OA Policy and its latest implementation, including:

  • An in-depth introduction to the new publication harvesting system for the three pilot campuses: UC Irvine, UCLA, and UCSF

  • A demo of the manual deposit tools available to all UC campuses

  • An exploration of resources to support the policy and outreach efforts

  • A Q&A session to clarify any lingering questions

This 90-minute webinar will be offered twice during Open Access Week. 
Please use the links below to register for the time and date you plan to attend.


Date: Monday, October 20, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Audio: Dial ReadyTalk, 866-740-1260, Access Code: 4348132


Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Audio: Dial ReadyTalk, 866-740-1260, Access Code: 4348132

Each webinar will be recorded for future viewing.

Questions? Please contact

We’re pleased to report that our installation and configuration of Symplectic Elements, a publication harvesting system in support of the UC Open Access Policy, is ready to be rolled out to selected faculty on the three pilot campuses: UC Irvine, UCLA, and UCSF.

Implementation partners from these three campuses will be gathering volunteers over the next few weeks to participate in a demonstration of our installation of Symplectic Elements and to review the system in advance of its larger release on these campuses in early fall. These early usability testers will be able to provide feedback on how the system might be further refined to support faculty participation in the OA Policy as we prepare to implement Elements across the entire UC System.

In the meantime, we encourage faculty members across UC who are eager to participate in the policy in advance of the full roll-out of the publication harvesting system to utilize the manual deposit workflow and to continue providing feedback on this tool.

 We’d like to thank each of our campus partners for the invaluable contributions they’ve made in helping us get this platform up and running and look forward to showcasing the progress this team has made.

On April 24, representatives from Symplectic and partners from the three pilot campuses – UC Irvine, UCLA, and UCSF – met at CDL to discuss the current status and next steps of the UC OA Policy Implementation Project.

Topics of discussion for the all-day event included:

  • An Elements (automated harvesting system) demo by Julia Hawks, Symplectic VP North America, and Adrien De Sutter, Symplectic Head of Implementations

  • Reports on the current project progress, such as Shibboleth authentication, HR data feeds, and integration with eScholarship, UC’s open access repository

  • Determining effective roll-out, outreach, and marketing strategies

  • An open dialog about pilot campuses’ interests in other uses of Elements, including further data and profile integration

The meeting was engaging, productive, and established a clearer understanding of how to move forward with this implementation project in a way that is most likely to ensure a successful and coordinated launch of the OA policy harvesting tool.

Particular themes that emerged and are actively being discussed with campus partners on an ongoing basis include:

  • Beta roll-out beginning in June 2014 with recruitment of early-adopter users on pilot campuses

  • Full roll-out for pilot campuses by end-of-summer 2014, to allow response to early user feedback and careful consideration of campus needs, such as integration with other campus data-tracking systems

  • Integration with pilot campuses’ local faculty profile systems or initiatives wherever possible

  • Clear and effective branding, messaging, and email notification strategy

  • Selection of data sources to harvest publication metadata and feed into the Elements system

  • Data imports from existing campus systems to ensure full, accurate data for new profiles

We on the CDL implementation team want to take this opportunity to thank our partners from UC Irvine, UCLA, and UCSF and our vendor Symplectic for their hard work and dedication to this project. The in-person meeting gave us a wider picture of the enthusiasm surrounding the project and the excellent opportunities for establishing a successful and robust OA policy implementation for the UC campuses.

The California Digital Library (CDL), in conjunction with University of California campus partners, has chosen Symplectic as the vendor to implement a publication harvesting system in support of the UC Open Access Policy, passed by the Academic Senate in July 2013. 

Symplectic’s flagship product, Elements, will form the basis of a research information management system intended to simplify participation in UC’s OA Policy by providing an efficient method for faculty to deposit their research into eScholarship, UC’s institutional repository. This system holds great promise for dramatically increasing the rate of deposit of faculty publications in accordance with the policy.

With a robust set of features that address the specific requirements of the UC OA Policy and the needs of UC authors, Elements will closely monitor publication sources, including public and licensed publication indexes, for any new materials published by UC authors. Once a new publication is detected in the indexes, the system will collect as much information about that publication as possible and contact the author(s) by email for confirmation and manuscript upload. Author-approved publications will then be automatically submitted to eScholarship, where they will be openly available to the public.

Symplectic, a UK-based developer of integrated research information management systems, was chosen after an exhaustive RFP process, conducted by members of the CDL team and representatives from the three pilot campuses: UC Irvine, UCLA, and UCSF.  The publication harvesting system will launch in June 2014, and will serve the three pilot campuses. Contingent on funding and review by the Academic Senate, the system will be extended in June 2015 to cover the remaining UC campuses.

Further developments in the implementation of this harvesting system can be tracked by visiting the Open Access Policy Implementation (OAPI) wiki or subscribing to the OAPI mailing list.

To learn more about the UC Open Access Policy or to contact us with questions, visit the Office of Scholarly Communication site.



The OAPI Project team is pleased to report that the RFP process has identified an apparent successful bidder. Stay tuned for more information and an official announcement of the vendor chosen to build the automated harvesting system.

The automated harvesting system will closely monitor publication sources, including public and licensed publication indexes, for any new materials published by UC authors. The system will gather as much information about the publication as possible and will notify the author by email when any have been detected. Author approved publications will then be submitted to eScholarship, where they will be available to the public.  Phase 1 is a Pilot Phase that includes three campus partners: UC Irvine, UCLA, and UCSF.

The Academic Senate of the University of California passed an Open Access Policy on July 24, 2013, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge.

Watch a 90-second introduction to the policy.

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The Academic Senate of the University of California adopted an Open Access Policy on July 24, 2013, ensuring that future scholarly articles authored by faculty at all 10 UC campuses will be made available to the public at no charge.

The Open Access Policy Implementation team at the California Digital Library is pleased to announce the November 1st launch of a set of tools and resources designed to support the UC OA Policy and help campuses spread the word to faculty who are ready to deposit their scholarly articles in eScholarship (UC’s open access repository), looking for more information about the policy, or seeking a waiver or embargo confirmation.

New eScholarship Deposit Workflow

The new eScholarship deposit workflow offers an efficient and intuitive submission process, making it easy for UC faculty to deposit their work in accordance with the policy.

Faculty from UC Irvine, UCLA, and UCSF should now begin depositing articles with a publication agreement signed after July 24, 2013 in eScholarship. Deposit of articles by faculty on the remaining UC campuses is expected to be formalized by the Academic Senate in Fall 2014, although faculty throughout the UC System are welcome to begin depositing immediately if they wish.

Office of Scholarly Communication Site

The new Office of Scholarly Communication website offers resources to help faculty sort through the details of the policy and fulfill its requirements.

  • Visit the UC Open Access Policy page, which connects to the FAQ, deposit workflow, waiver/embargo generator, and more.  For easy access, use the URL:

The OSC site is also intended as a more general resource about current issues in scholarly communication for UC faculty, researchers, students, and staff.

Get the Word Out!

The "Get the Word Out" page on the OSC site offers tools for alerting faculty to the policy and efficiently directing them to the deposit and waiver/embargo workflows, including:

  • A 90-second video introducing UC faculty to the policy and motivating them to deposit their work in eScholarship.
  • Transferable "ads" that point to the resources available on the OSC site – and can be included on university and library sites, departmental pages, and other locations that will be visible to UC faculty.
  • A slide deck that can be used or adapted for presentations about the UC Open Access Policy.

Finally, this work has truly been a collaborative effort, strongly informed by colleagues across the UC campuses, who have provided information, feedback, testing, and other assistance and input as we developed the new deposit workflow and the accompanying materials. We look forward to continuing this important work with all of you!

Please contact with any questions, feedback, or suggestions.

Join CDL staff at 1 PM PST on Thursday, Oct. 17th for an hour-long discussion about the tools under development and to be unveiled on November 1st, when the OA Policy article deposit requirement begins for faculty at UCSF, UCLA and UC Irvine.  We’ll focus specifically on:

  • new eScholarship deposit workflow that is specifically designed to support the OA Policy.
  • The release of the Office of Scholarly Communications website, providing a starting point for faculty to participate in the policy and/or learn more about it.
  • An early peek at a 90-second video that we’re developing to create a buzz among faculty and get the word out about how to comply with the policy.

This webinar is a chance for everyone to get up to speed on all of these tools before November 1st – and for campus partners to share their ideas about OA Policy support. Please forward this invitation to all of your colleagues who are likely to be advising faculty on the policy.  And please note that this webinar is for all 10 campuses in anticipation of interest in deposit among faculty who are not yet “required” to do so.

This webinar will be recorded for future viewing.

Register Now!

Your participation is requested in refining the article deposit process for the UC Open Access Policy.

With the passage of the policy by the Academic Senate in July 2013 (following UCSF’s adoption of a similar policy in May 2012), the California Digital Library (CDL) launched the Open Access Policy Implementation Project. A primary goal of the project is to streamline the workflow for the manual deposit of articles into UC’s eScholarship open access repository.

A number of user interface design options are under review, and we’d like to hear from you before making final design decisions. The link below leads to a set of eScholarship screenshots and corresponding questions - you simply need to indicate where on the screen you would expect to find the answer to the question.

We expect you’ll find this to be an interesting exercise that takes less than ten minutes and provides valuable feedback to the design team!



Please note that this survey will close on Wednesday, 09/25/2013.

Responses to bidders' questions are in! The RFP Evaluation Team is now waiting to receive the bids from vendors, which are due on October 7th. For more information, see the Harvester Request for Proposals (RFP) Process page.

On July 24, 2013, the Academic Senate of the University of California passed an Open Access Policy, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge. The Open Access Policy Implementation (OAPI) project is a partnership between the California Digital Library and UC campuses to build tools and services that will support faculty participation in the UC Open Access Policy, including:

  • An enhanced and streamlined workflow for depositing articles into UC’s eScholarship open access repository
  • Automated publication harvesting and notification system for UC authors, to reduce the need for manual deposit
  • Support for the generation of embargo, waiver, and addendum forms, at the author’s request

Learn more:  OAPI project wiki

The OAPI project wiki is a public space that allows you to track implementation planning activities, timelines, and deliverables. The wiki reflects the current status of the project and will continue to be updated as it evolves. Visit the wiki to get an overview of this complex project: 

Or explore specific project components:

Join our mailing list

Joining the OAPI mailing list will provide you with convenient periodic email alerts about the progress of the project. Signing up for this list will ensure you receive important information such as:

  • Completion of major project milestones
  • New features you can see or test out
  • Opportunities for providing feedback

Subscribe now!

Discussion forum

We also welcome you to join our Discussion Forum, to view and contribute to more in-depth conversations about the OAPI project.


The Request for Proposals (RFP) has been released, sent to known vendors, and posted here:

The press release below can also be seen on the Academic Senate’s homepage at:

The Academic Senate of the University of California has passed an Open Access Policy, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge. “The Academic Council’s adoption of this policy on July 24, 2013, came after a six-year process culminating in two years of formal review and revision,” said Robert Powell, chair of the Academic Council. “Council’s intent is to make these articles widely—and freely— available in order to advance research everywhere.”  Articles will be available to the public without charge via eScholarship (UC’s open access repository) in tandem with their publication in scholarly journals.  Open access benefits researchers, educational institutions, businesses, research funders and the public by accelerating the pace of research, discovery and innovation and contributing to the mission of advancing knowledge and encouraging new ideas and services.

Chris Kelty, Associate Professor of Information Studies, UCLA, and chair of the UC University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC), explains, “This policy will cover more faculty and more research than ever before, and it sends a powerful message that faculty want open access and they want it on terms that benefit the public and the future of research.”

The policy covers more than 8,000 UC faculty at all 10 campuses of the University of California, and as many as 40,000 publications a year.  It follows more than 175 other universities who have adopted similar so-called “green” open access policies.  By granting a license to the University of California prior to any contractual arrangement with publishers, faculty members can now make their research widely and publicly available, re-use it for various purposes, or modify it for future research publications.  Previously, publishers had sole control of the distribution of these articles.  All research publications covered by the policy will continue to be subjected to rigorous peer review; they will still appear in the most prestigious journals across all fields; and they will continue to meet UC’s standards of high quality.  Learn more about the policy and its implementation here:

UC is the largest public research university in the world and its faculty members receive roughly 8% of all research funding in the U.S.  With this policy UC Faculty make a commitment to the public accessibility of research, especially, but not only, research paid for with public funding by the people of California and the United States.  This initiative is in line with the recently announced White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directive requiring “each Federal Agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to results of the research funded by the Federal Government.” The new UC Policy also follows a similar policy passed in 2012 by the Academic Senate at the University of California, San Francisco, which is a health sciences campus.

“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” said Richard A. Schneider, Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and chair of the Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication at UCSF.   “The ten UC campuses generate around 2-3% of all the peer-reviewed articles published in the world every year, and this policy will make many of those articles freely  available to anyone who is interested anywhere, whether they are colleagues, students, or members of the general public.”

The adoption of this policy across the UC system also 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.  The faculty remains committed to working with publishers to transform the publishing landscape in ways that are sustainable and beneficial to both the University and the public.


More information can be found on the new Open Access Policy page on the Reshaping Scholarly Communication ( website.