We call on UC authors and scholars … to exercise control of their scholarship … to ensure the widest dissemination of works…. *
As the author of a work you are the copyright holder unless and until you transfer the copyright to someone else in a signed agreement.
Copyright is a bundle of rights, not just one right. You do not have to surrender all your copyrights when you publish, though some publishers may ask you to do so. Transfer of copyrights can lead to problems, for example, you may not be able to make copies of your own work to share with your students or colleagues without permission. Transfer of copyrights to the publisher also confers enormous market power on the publisher, as the exclusive owner of the rights to your work.
By retaining your copyright, or by transferring your copyright but retaining some rights, you can control the dissemination of your research. By removing access barriers (including cost) you allow more readers to access your scholarship. UC recommends that you can retain at least some of your rights:
- You can amend the copyright transfer agreement that you get from your publisher -- or you can ask one of us and we would be happy to help you.
- You can use this form which allows you to Keep Copyrights and Transfer Limited Rights to the publisher.
- Or you can Transfer copyrights but reserve some rights, by using the language from that webpage or from the Amendment to Publication Agreement.
* from The Case for Scholars' Management of Their Copyright (PDF) endorsed by the UC Academic Council, April 2006
"Open access holds the promise of moving knowledge from the closed cloisters of privileged, well-endowed university campuses to ... dedicated professionals and interested amateurs, to concerned journalists and policymakers."¹
Berkeley scholars want their publications to be read -- by other researchers in their field, by academics, independent scholars, and policy makers. They freely contribute their time as authors, editors and peer reviewers; the university in turn buys back the content that they have given away.
There is a growing gap between what scholarly journals cost, and what libraries (including major research universities) can pay. As libraries are forced to cancel journals, researchers worldwide lose access to the articles with research that they need... and that the researcher/authors provided for free.
Open Access is a much needed alternative to the for-profit publishing model.
Good for you:
¹Willinsky, J. (2006). The access principle : The case for open access to research and scholarship. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Authors often want to submit their articles to the most prestigous and/or highest impact factor journals. Journal Impact Factor from ISI is a measure of the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a given period of time. ISI's Journal Citation Reports can create a list of the most highly cited journals from a highly selective group of journal titles.
This method is not without controversy as some research has found that there is no statistical correlation between the impact factor of a journal and the actual citation rate of its articles, and that journals that publish many reviews tend to have higher impact factors (since reviews are frequently cited).
EigenFactor and its Article Influence score, is another way to measure impact. It also includes cost factors, and takes into account the different citation patterns in the social sciences vs. the sciences.
PLOS (Public Library of Science) is developing article level metrics, so that each article will be assessed on its own merits, not just on that of the journal as a whole. And research shows that open access to an article increases its citation.
Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) supports faculty members, post-docs, and graduate students who want to make their journal articles free to all readers immediately upon publication. BRII subsidizes, in various degrees, fees charged to authors who select open access or paid access publication.
OA & Journals
How to find an open access journal -- or or at least one that let's you post your own work:
Directory of Online Journals (DOAJ) includes thousands of open access journals, including hundreds in education. If you are willing to work with one of these journals, you won't need to negotiate in order to retain your copyright.
SHERPA/RoMEO Lets you search a journal or publisher, and find the (default) degree of open access:
- can archive pre-print and post-print or publisher's version Green
- can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing) or publisher's version/PDF Blue
- can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing) Yellow
- archiving not formally supported White