Publish Open Access @UC Berkeley

For decades, many scholars, researchers, funders, the taxpaying public, and others have desired that research be accessible online without paywall barriers in order to advance knowledge, promote progress, and maximize research impact and return on investment. The Library is a key stakeholder in advancing all of these open access initiatives. Here are just some of the ways we support you in publishing open access at UC Berkeley.


Put a copy in a repository

Deposit in

UC Berkeley faculty, staff, students (and departments!) can make a copy of their scholarship available in the UC's open access repository, called eScholarship.

This is because the Academic Senate of the University of California adopted 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. On October 23, 2015, a Presidential Open Access Policy expanded 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.

The UC system-wide Office of Scholarly Communications has a helpful guide on both the OA policies and how to make deposits of post-prints--peer-reviewed versions of scholarship prior publisher formatting--into eScholarship. To quickly get started, just follow their link for: Deposit your work

Using Other Repositories 

You may choose to deposit your manuscript in a repository other than eScholarship. Or, if you prefer, eScholarship can be one of several repositories where you deposit your materials. Here are a few discipline-specific repositories it's worth considering; to find more, check out OpenDOAR (the Directory of Open Access Repositories).

  • ArXiv: e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics
  • SocArXiv: Platform for social scientists to upload working papers, pre-prints, published papers, data, and code
  • PsyArXiv: Psychological sciences pre-prints
  • LawArXiv: Pre-prints for legal scholarship
  • bioRXiv: Pre-prints for biological sciences
  • HumanitiesCommons: Through its CORE feature, offers a repository for the Humanities
  • PubMed Central: Repository for biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine

Using Social Networking Research Platforms

If your author agreement permits it, you may choose to add your manuscript to a social networking research platform like Mendeley, ResearchGate, or These networks can help generate interest and readership for your work. Just keep in mind that many of these scholarly profiling tools are not geared toward actually preserving a copy of your work. So, to ensure that a copy of your work remains publicly available, it’s best to make sure you also deposit a copy in your institutional repository (such as


Publish in an open access journal or book

Get money for article or book processing charges

If you are publishing in a fully open access journal, Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) reimburses your fees paid for article processing charges (APCs). Publishers use APCs to replace revenue the publisher would have generated via library subscriptions if access to the journal had been licensed by the library for campus readers. BRII began in 2008 by redirecting a small amount of Library collections funds to help authors cover these APCs for open access journals so that Berkeley authors could participate in the wider dissemination that OA publishing offers.

To read about eligibility and submit a form for reimbursement of your APC, check out our BRII guide. It will walk you through the easy appliation process.

Note that the BRII program reimburses for APCs when you publish in fully open access journals. Unfortunately, BRII can't reimburse for publishing in "hybrid" OA journals--ones that charge us for a subscription for read access, and an additional payment to make a copy open access--because of the double payment situation that creates for the Library. 

BRII also supports open access book charges

While many scholars in the humanities and social sciences publish in OA journals, they also publish scholarly books, termed “monographs”. These books become a critical component of professional credentialing, yet their readership is limited by the same kinds of access barriers endemic to subscription-based journals: The scholarly books are quite expensive, and increasingly fewer libraries can afford to purchase them. By expanding BRII to also cover the publishing fees for OA books, BRII can help Berkeley authors publish long-form scholarship that can be read by anyone at no cost. BRII covers up to $7500 of a BPC.

These digital editions of peer-reviewed and professionally edited OA books typically offer readers more than just the text itself. Digital monographs can also incorporate multimedia with the text, include annotation and commenting tools, and provide platforms that further encourage the development of innovative scholarship.

Hear what BRII recipients have to say

Publishing OA with supporting funds from BRII is helping to augment scholarly impact.

BRII helped me make access to my research affordable and it wiped away a lot of barriers. —Rachel Morello-Frosch, UC Berkeley Professor of Public Health and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

I do a lot of work on things that aren't funded, and having a way to cover open access fees for work that has no other money behind it is incredibly helpful. —Philip B. Stark, Associate Dean, Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences; Professor of Statistics

Publish Open Access in Cambridge University Press

If you are a University of California corresponding author, you are entitled both to a discount on your APC and a subsidy for the APC from the UC libraries. Both of these will be applied automatically within the Cambridge University Press publishing system if you choose to publish open access in Cambridge.

We can offer this because in April 2019, University of California (UC) and Cambridge University Press announced that they had entered into a transformative open access agreement that will give UC authors who publish with Cambridge the opportunity to make their research freely available and advance the global shift toward an open access future for research. The agreement will also maintain UC’s access to Cambridge’s more than 400 journals. 

Under this agreement, if you are a UC author, when Cambridge accepts your article for publication, their workflow system will ask you whether you wish to make your work available open access. You’ll have two choices:

  • If you wish to publish open access, you can do so for free in 2019. You will receive a follow-up email from Cambridge (sent by the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink system, which manages payments for Cambridge) asking you to complete payment processing for a discounted article processing charge. But, in 2019, you won’t actually have to make any article processing charge payment; the UC libraries will be covering the entire cost of publishing your article open access. You just need to log into RightsLink and select the UC libraries as the payment provider. If you’ve already published an article open access in 2019, we can retroactively pay the article processing charge for you. (You should be hearing from the UC libraries soon about this.)
  • If you do not wish to publish open access, you can opt out by indicating in the Cambridge workflow system that you want the article to remain paywalled. 

In 2020, if you select the open access publishing option, the UC libraries will pay at least $1,000 toward your discounted article processing charge with Cambridge. When you log into Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink for payment processing, you will see the discounted charge and the libraries’ $1,000 contribution, and you will then be asked whether you have any grant funds to pay any balance on the article processing charge. If you do not have grant funds to cover that difference, no problem: The UC libraries will cover the balance and pay the entire article processing charge for you.

We encourage you to check out UC’s Cambridge publishing Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about what the agreement means for you and how it’s structured to control costs. 

Other APC discounts and waivers

As a member of the UC Berkeley community, you may also be entitled to other discounts off of many APCs through our membership and license agreements.  

  • For more information see the UC-wide list of publisher discounts
  • At UC Berkeley, we also have membership arrangements with MDPI and other publishers that offer instant discounts to UC Berkeley authors. Moreover, we will reimburse the balance of the discounted APCs for fully-open access journals under our BRII program.
  • Likewise, our institutional plan with PeerJ includes a pre-paid deposit account that covers basic lifetime memberships for UC Berkeley authors; basic lifetime memberships allow one peer-reviewed publication per year without additional charge. All authors of a paper require a membership or a single APC charge must be paid instead. 

Our list of such memberships is growing, and rest assured that we will keep this page updated!


Other ways we support open access publishing

OA2020's Expression of Interest

OA2020 is one of several international movements aimed at establishing universal open access for scholarly journal literature. In March 2017, UC Berkeley signed the OA2020 Expression of Interest, agreeing to make a good faith effort to devise and implement practical strategies and actions for attaining wide scale open access.

For more on what we signed and why, please see our site In particular, you may find the FAQs quite useful. 

Support for journal transitions

We provide guidance for journal editorial boards, authors, and scholarly societies seeking to transition their journals to open access. We have co-authored the guides and toolkits available through the UC systemwide Office of Scholarly Communication website, and offer individual consultations.

If you'd like to discuss transitioning your journal to open access, please e-mail us at

Strategic memberships and investments

Our efforts to support sustainable OA publishing means incorporating OA principles into our acquitions and collections policies.

As noted above, we have set up memberships with publishers (e.g. PeerJ, MDPI, and Sage Journals) to offer APC discounts for UC Berkeley authors. Likewise, we have become members of UC Press' Luminos, which subsidizes OA publishing in part by creating an APC waiver pool for all authors.

We also eagerly acquire, subscribe to, and catalog open access books, articles, and other media. Searching our Library catalog will yield thousands upon thousands of books and materials that are openly available--often based on our subscription to or participation in a number of open access endeavors, such as: 

We are committed to and actively pursuing efforts to greatly expand the corpus of open access content in our collections, and welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Chairing and supporting UC systemwide efforts 

Our Office of Scholarly Communication Services has chaired and supported a number of UC system-wide efforts to support a wide-scale transition to open access.

Pathways to Open Access 2018 Toolkit

We chaired the creation of the 2018 Pathways to Open Access toolkit oo advance data-driven decision-making on scholarly communication issues. Prepared on behalf of the University of California (UC) libraries and the California Digital Library, the Pathways toolkit analyzes the many approaches and strategies for advancing the large-scale transition to OA, and identifies possible next action steps for UC system-wide investment and experimentation.

Choosing Pathways to OA (CP2OA) Forum

On October 16-17, 2018, we chaired the University of California (UC) libraries working forum in Berkeley, California, called Choosing Pathways to Open Access (CP2OA). Sponsored by the University of California’s Council of University Librarians (CoUL), the forum was designed to enable North American library and consortium leaders and key academic stakeholders to engage in action-focused deliberations about redirecting subscription and other funds toward sustainable open access (OA) publishing. The goal was for everyone to leave with their own customized plans for how they will repurpose subscription spends within their home organizations or communities—and more broadly, through collective efforts, move the OA needle forward.

The CP2OA Planning Committee prepared a report to CoUL analyzing forum outcomes. Our report also synthesizes forum outcomes into recommendations for further collective action by CoUL to advance open access.