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Scholarly Publishing and Open Access: UW Faculty Open Access Policy: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions: UW Faculty OA Policy

Who is covered by the UW Open Access Policy?
The UW OA Policy applies to members of the UW Faculty as defined in section 21-31 of the Faculty Code. It does not apply to other UW academic research staff or students.

The UW Open Access Policy refers to scholarly articles. What qualifies as a “scholarly article”?

Scholarly articles are typically understood to be peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers created without expectation of payment. This definition may vary by discipline, however, and faculty have discretion to determine appropriate parameters for their fields. Books, book chapters, data sets, and creative works are not addressed by the OA Policy, but faculty authors are encouraged to deposit these types of works if they have the rights to do so. 

What version of my scholarly article should I deposit?

Authors should deposit the “Author’s Accepted Manuscript” (also called the “post print”) version of each article. This is the post-peer reviewed draft that a publisher accepts for publication, and is typically the author’s final draft before formatting and copyediting. 

Publishers usually reserve rights to the “version of record” of an article. This is the final version that has been copyedited, formatted, and appears in the journal and via the journal’s online portal.

Does the Open Access Policy affect every article I’ve written?
No. The policy only applies to articles created by UW faculty authors on or after June 1, 2018, the date the policy went into effect. 

How can I make my articles openly available per the OA Policy?

According to the UW OA Policy,there are three ways you can make your article openly available: 

What if my article is already available openly?
If an article is already openly available according to the criteria of the UW Faculty OA Policy, there’s no need for faculty to do anything else. Faculty may add an article to ResearchWorks even if it is already openly available. .

My publisher charges authors fees to publish their articles openly. Does the UW Open Access Policy require me to pay a fee?

No. The UW OA Policy encourages “self archiving,” also known as “green open access,” which is a free way of making articles openly available. Under this method, authors deposit the author’s accepted manuscript version of their article in an OA repository such as ResearchWorks. This path to OA has no fees for authors. 

Journal publishers usually charge fees to pay for OA publication of articles on their websites. These “versions of record” typically include formatting and copyediting, and carry the branding of the journal or publishing outlet. This is one method of making articles openly available, and is often called “gold open access.” Authors may choose to pursue paid, publisher-hosted OA for their own reasons, but that is not required or suggested by the UW OA Policy. The UW Libraries is not able to fund publisher OA


Unfortunately, UW Libraries does not provide a central fund for authors' article-processing charges at this time. If your publisher or funder would like an official confirmation of the fact, please email us and we will provide you with a notice.


What happens if a publisher’s policies conflict with the UW Open Access Policy?

Publishers’ policies will not, by default, mirror the terms of the UW OA Policy. Many publishers require exclusive rights to articles as part of their publication agreement. The UW OA Policy’s non-exclusive license works by preempting transfers of copyright from authors to publishers. Under its terms, authors may make their accepted manuscripts openly available unless their publisher requires them to waive the UW OA Policy, and authors agree to this condition. 

What happens if my author’s agreement includes terms that conflict with the UW Open Access Policy? 

You should read and keep any agreement you sign. In particular, look out for language in the contract asking you to affirm that you have obtained a waiver of any institutional OA policy, or that you have not previously licensed any rights to your article to anyone besides your publisher. If this kind of language is included, you may use the UW Faculty Author Addendum to attempt to modify the contract and harmonize the terms. If your editor rejects the addendum, you will need to request a waiver. See below for the UW Faculty Author Addendum.

What is a waiver?

A waiver enables an author to opt out of the UW OA Policy completely for a specific article. An author may request a waiver as necessary, for example, in the rare case that their publisher objects to the terms of the UW OA Policy. If an author chooses to submit an OA waiver for an article, the author is then not protected by the rights stipulated in the UW’s OA Policy, and the author’s rights are then limited to what is allowed by the signed publication agreement. Waivers are automatically granted upon request from the author. Request a waiver of the Policy by emailing with the faculty author's name, NetID, and article citation.

What is an author addendum? 
An author addendum is a proposed modification of a publishing contract. Authors attach this addendum to their publisher-initiated contracts. If accepted by the publisher, the author addendum modifies the contract. This may be useful in order to take proper account of the UW Open Access policy or to allow authors to retain rights that would otherwise have been transferred to the publisher, for example.

What is delayed access?

Delayed access (sometimes referred to as an embargo) specifies a period of time (such as 6 months or a year) that must pass before an article is made publicly available in an institutional repository.  The author retains the rights reserved by the UW OA Policy, but agrees not to exercise those rights until the embargo period has passed. 


Need more information or help? Contact us

Please contact your subject librarian or Denise Hattwig, Head of Digital Scholarship, if you have any questions about Open Access or need help depositing your work in an open access repository such as UW's ResearchWorks.