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Optometry and Vision Sciences Faculty Resources: UC OA Policy FAQ

General questions about the UC OA Policy

What are the terms of the UC Open Access (OA) Policy and what do I have to do?

  • Official explanation: The policy reserves rights for Academic Senate faculty to make their articles freely available to the public in an open access repository. It does this by granting a license to the University (regardless of any agreements authors may make with publishers). The policy does not transfer copyright to UC or allow UC to sell the articles. It also does not prevent faculty from transferring copyright to publishers.

For articles covered by the policy, members of the Academic Senate should provide the final author version for inclusion in eScholarship, UC's open access repository. All faculty will be contacted via email and prompted to claim articles and upload them. They may choose to deposit their article in another OA repository and provide a link to the OA version of their publication.

Informal explanation:  Here are the steps: 1) As an Academic Senate faculty you will get an email (subject: "Your Publications") with a link to an online tool that lists all your publications; 2) Go through the list and "claim" any that are yours (there are likely to be a lot of false hits) and "reject" any that aren't; 3) Find the final author version of your manuscript and upload it when the system prompts you; 4) Your paper will then be on eScholarship and available freely for readers everywhere.

Who's covered by the policy?

  • The policy was adopted by the Academic Senate and thus covers Senate-represented faculty. Other UC authors like graduate students and postdocs are not covered, but if they have articles co-authored with Senate faculty, those articles are covered and they can encourage faculty to deposit them.

Does the policy cover every article I've ever written?

  • No, it only covers scholarly articles for which a publication agreement was signed after July 24, 2013.

What kinds of writings are covered?

  • The policy applies to “scholarly articles.” This refers to published research articles in the broadest sense of the term. Authors are best situated to understand what writings fit the category of “scholarly articles” within their discipline, and are welcome to rely on the policy for all articles they believe fall into this category.
  • At Berkeley, it has been the common practice to include conference proceedings and book chapters, in addition to journal articles, under the policy.

Dealing with publishers

Does my publisher know about the policy?

When it's time to sign your publishing agreement, what do I do?

  • Official explanation: You don't have to do anything different than you usually do, even if your publisher requires that you transfer copyright. If you haven't been asked for a waiver or embargo letter, you don't need one. If your publisher or editor explicitly requests that you produce a proof of waiver (opt out) or embargo (delay access to your article) because of your "institutional open access policy" you can generate a letter on the waiver and embargo page.
Informal explanation: The UC OA Policy trumps any publisher agreements that UC authors may have subsequently signed with the publisher.

What are waivers and embargoes?

  • Official explanation:
    • Embargo: The Policy does not require embargoes (delayed access). Articles can be posted to eScholarship at time of publication. However, you can choose to delay access via Scholarship for a certain period of time (typically 6 months to 1 year) after the article's publication. View a sample embargo letter.
    • Waiver: You can also opt-out of the policy completely for any article. View a sample waiver letter.
    • To generate an embargo or a waiver go to Embargo and Waiver page.
Informal explanation: If a publisher does not want you to comply with the policy, they will supply you with the link to the UC embargo and waiver page. If you do not want to comply with policy by personal choice, you need not generate an waiver, just don't upload your articles.

My publisher charges $__ for open access. Do I have to pay that to comply with the policy?

  • NO. The UC OA Policy is "green OA" which allows authors continue to publish as they always have in all the same journals. Once the article has been published in a traditional journal, the author then posts a "final author version" of the article to a repository. Green OA is free-of-cost for authors.
  • If you published with a "gold OA" journal that charges article processing charges, you can still comply with the policy by providing a link to the freely available article (rather than depositing the manuscript).
  • For more on OA and the differences between green and gold see OA defined.

My publisher's policy says __________, which is different from the UC Open Access Policy.

  • Official explanation: You should read and keep any agreement you sign, but understand that the UC OA Policy is intended to preempt or augment these publisher default terms. This is true whether the publisher requires a copyright transfer or not. If your publisher isn't requiring you to opt out by getting a waiver, you are fully within your rights to take advantage of UC's policy.
Informal explanation: See above: The UC OA Policy trumps any publisher agreements that UC authors may have subsequently signed with the publisher.

Working with the publication management system (UCPMS) software

Can I delegate someone else to manage my publications?

You can delegate someone else to manage your publications by filling out the UC Publications Management delegation form.

There are too many results in my queue that are not mine. What can I do?

Log into the UC Publication Management System.

  1. On the Home tab, click on the "Other Tools" option.
  2. Select Reset (clear) your pending publications. This will clear out all your results and allow you to start over.

While still in the UC Publications Management System:

  1. On the Home tab, click on "My Search Settings."
  2. Adjust the search settings as appropriate.
    • Name variant: Should be adjusted when the user typically publishes under a different last name, or uses different initials. Note that adding name variants will increase the number of items in a user's Pending queue.
    • Address: Campus information can be added to reduce the number of pending items. This is particularly useful when the user has a common name, and you don't want the system to return results for similarly-named individuals at other institutions. For best results, use the following conventions when adding address terms:
      • University of California Berkeley
      • Univ Calif Berkeley
    • Source-specific search terms: This section is most useful for disabling a database where the user's content is not likely to appear. For instance, a humanities scholar may wish to disable PubMed as a data source.
    • Or, if you already have an ORCID identifier and have listed your publications in ORCID, you can instruct the Publication Management System to harvest the records using your ORCID ID.

What should I do if there are duplicate items in the pending queue?

  1. First claim all versions of the duplicate item(s) in the Pending queue.
  2. Next, move to the Mine tab
  3. Select the bookmark icon for each version of the duplicate record
  4. Once all versions are bookmarked, select the workspace icon in the top navigation bar
  5. Use the checkboxes to select all versions of the item that needs to be reconciled
  6. Select the Join button to merge the selected items into a single record


  • When attempting to locate duplicates in the Mine tab, you can use the search filters on the left side of the screen to narrow in on specific items
  • Some users may have already rejected duplicate versions before asking for advice. The user should go to the 'Not Mine' tab and re-claim these items before reconciling the duplicate versions.

Can I add additional publications?

To add publications:

  1. From the home tab, click on "Publications" under the Navigation menu on the left-hand side.
  2. On the upper right hand side of My Publications, click on "Add a new publication," and then select the publication type (journal article, book chapter, conference paper, etc.).
  3. Enter the title or DOI of the publication and click Search to see if it already exists in the UC Publication Management System.
  4. If so, claim the publication as before.
  5. If not, click on the "Go to next step" button, fill out the requested information, and click Save.

Other FAQs

But I already put my papers in ResearchGate (or

As described in an Office of Scholarly Communication blog post, "ResearchGate and are social networking platforms whose primary aim is to connect researchers with common interests. Users create profiles on these services, and are then encouraged to list their publications and other scholarly activities, upload copies of manuscripts they’ve authored, and build connections with scholars they work or co-author with. Essentially these services provide a Facebook or LinkedIn experience for the research community." Both are commercial services that use your personal information and data; eScholarship, on the other hand is an open access repository administered by the University of California that is committed to openness and interoperability, long term preservation and access.

Do I have to get permission from my co-authors?

  • Official explanation: No. Under US copyright law, any joint author can give nonexclusive permission to copy and distribute this work, so long as he or she shares profits with other joint authors. Since the policy creates a nonexclusive license and no money changes hands, from a legal perspective UC authors can rely on the policy to post their articles without checking with co-authors. However, best practices would include treating open access policy participation like other co-authorship issues -- determining author order, reporting contributions, etc. -- and, hence, discussing the issue among co-authors as part of the writing and publication process.
  • Informal explanation: It's common courtesy to check in with your co-authors.

What if my article is already openly available?

  • The policy requires articles to be made available in an open access repository. If your article is available for free at the publisher’s website, or you’ve added it to a repository like PubMed Central or SSRN, you will not need to upload the article but merely verify a link out to that article.

How do I know if I'm depositing the right version?

  • Official response: Use the latest version you have that hasn’t been formatted by the publisher. If you used Microsoft Word to write the article, it will probably be a Word doc. If the version you’re looking at has the look and feel of the journal and the publisher’s copyright notice on it, it’s probably the wrong version.
Informal response: In answer to the question about whether or not you can just upload the publisher PDF, see this fascinating article in College & Research Libraries News, "It's all the same to me! Copyright, contracts and publisher self-archiving policies." (December 2015)

Can I deposit my work if it has copyrighted images?

  • It depends on whether you had to sign an agreement to get access to the image. If you didn’t, because the image is in the public domain or your use of it was fair use, then the work can be made publicly accessible with the image included. If you did sign an agreement, review it to see if it allows broad use of the image as long as it is in the context of the article. If the terms of the agreement would not permit public access to the image, you have a few options:
    • Contact the other party to the agreement to get permission;
    • Get a different copy of the image from a different source with better terms;
    • Deposit a version of the article that does not include the images so that readers can still read your argument/analysis;
    • Opt out of the policy for that article by visiting the waiver and addendum page.
  • If you need help determining what rights you have, contact us.