For decades, 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 eScholarship.org
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.
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 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
If your author agreement permits it, you may choose to add your manuscript to a social networking research platform like Mendeley, ResearchGate, or Academia.edu. 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 eScholarship.org).
Publish in an open access journal
Get help to defray article processing charges
If you are publishing in a fully open access journal, the Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) can reimburse 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 application process. The BRII program is open to authors in any discipline, and especially encourages applicants from the humanities and social sciences.
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.
The University of California has entered into several transformative open access agreements with publishers. Over time, these arrangements facilitate a cost-effective transition from paying for subscriptions to paying to publish open access articles. Typically these agreements provide free reading access to the UC community, and support open access publishing by UC authors by defraying some or all of the article processing charges.
Here are the UC-wide transformative agreements to which authors can take part:
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
- Cambridge University Press
- Candian Science Publishing
- Company of Biologists
- Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR)
- National Academy of Sciences
- Public Library of Science (PLOS)
- Royal Society
- Springer Nature
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. And at UC Berkeley, we also have membership arrangements with MDPI and other publishers that offer instant discounts to UC Berkeley authors.
Publish an open access book
Get help to defray book processing charges
While many scholars in the humanities and social sciences publish in OA journals, they also publish scholarly books (sometimes called "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. The Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) can also help UC Berkeley authors publish open access books, thus supporting long-form scholarship that can be read by anyone at no cost. BRII covers up to $10,000 of a book processing charge.
In addition to BRII, UC Berkeley and Springer Nature signed an agreement to support open access book publishing. The agreement will provide open access funding to UC Berkeley affiliated book authors, and will cover a broad range of titles across all disciplines—from humanities and social sciences to sciences, technology, medicine and mathematics.
Grants to create open textbooks/open educational resources (OERs)
We continue to offer a limited number of grants to UC Berkeley instructors for the adoption, adaption, and creation of open textbooks. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss whether this program might be right for your project. For more information, see the page on open & affordable course materials.
Open access book creation and hosting platform
Pressbooks is a digital publishing platform that makes it easy for UC Berkeley authors to create and share open access books and instructional materials. The service is available for anyone with an active @berkeley.edu email address via the UC Berkeley Open Book Publishing Platform. Pressbooks features professionally-designed templates, flexible and customizable licensing, and tools to maximize accessibility.
Other ways we support open access publishing
In addition to the direct financial support for UC Berkeley authors described above, the Library is engaged in several strategic projects—including investments, memberships, and leadership—to improve open access publishing for the entire community.
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 email@example.com.
We helped create the group Transitioning Society Publications to OA (TSPOA), where we "facilitate OA publishing by society journals by providing support, advocacy, and referral services within the library and scholarly publishing communities and related professional organizations." TSPOA has partnered with LYRASIS to develop the Open Access Community Investment Program, "a community-driven framework that enables multiple stakeholders (including funders, institutions, libraries, authors, and editors) to efficiently and strategically evaluate and collectively fund open access content initiatives."
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, UC Berkeley is a member of UC Press' Luminos, which subsidizes OA book publishing charges, and offers a significant discount for UC authors who have a book accepted for publication and wish to make it open access.
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:
- Knowledge Unlatched
- Language Science Press
- Open Library of Humanities
- HathiTrust Digital Library
- JSTOR Open Access eBooks
- Open Book Publishers
- University of Michigan Press eBook Collection
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.
Open Access Investment Working Group
In 2019 UC Berkeley Library’s Collection Services Council charged a working group to develop local best practices to guide investment in open access products and services. Advancing open access to scholarship is one of the Library’s key goals, and addressing how and when UCB invests in OA resources and materials is one path to supporting this priority. In May 2020 the working group completed its report, recommending key criteria and a workflow for evaluating open access investment opportunities.
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.
- Pathways to OA: Full Report [PDF]
- Pathways to OA: Executive Summary [PDF]
- Pathways to OA: Chart Summarizing Approaches, Strategies, & Next Steps [PDF]
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.
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 OA2020.us. In particular, you may find the FAQs quite useful.