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UIC Library Faculty Open Access Policy: Policy FAQs

Library Open Access Policy - FAQs

To whom would the policy apply?

·         All library faculty members.

Does this policy take the rights to my writing?

·         No.  The Open Access Policy grants a specific nonexclusive license to UIC .  You still retain ownership and complete control of the copyright in your writings, subject only to this prior license.  You can exercise your copyrights in any way you see fit, including transferring them to a publisher if you so desire.  (However, if you do so, UIC would still retain its license and the right to distribute the article from its repository).

How do I comply with this policy and communicate to the publisher the rights I need to reserve to comply with the policy?

·         The easiest way to comply with the policy and communicate the policy to the publisher is to use the CIC Addendum. 

·         Alternatives, such as editing the publishing contract can be found  on the Author's Rights page of the Publishing and Scholarly Communication Guide.

What role does the CIC addendum play?

  • The addendum to Publication Agreements for CIC Authors is one method for retaining your rights.  The text is already provided for you, you just need to fill out the form specific to you and your article.   Alternatively, you can alter the publishing contract by crossing out the original exclusive transfer language in the publication contract that the publisher provided.  Access to the CIC addendum and more information on altering publishing contracts can be found at  (click on the Author’s Rights tab).

What if the publisher refuses to publish my article because of this prior license?

·         You have a number of options.  One is to obtain a waiver of the license under the policy.  Alternatively, you can work to persuade the publisher that it should accept UIC’s non-exclusive license in order to be able to publish your article, or seek a different publisher. 

Will this policy put junior or untenured faculty at a disadvantage because they need to publish in certain journals, which could be journals that won’t allow the authors to retain copyright?

·         It won’t.  The policy includes a waiver where on a case by case basis a faculty author can apply to opt out of the policy for a particular article. 

How do I request a waiver of the Open Access Policy?

  • A faculty author can apply to opt out of the policy for a particular article; waivers will only be granted on an article by article basis to a faculty member.  The license granted to UIC regarding an article will be waived by the University Librarian, or his/her Designate upon written/electronic notification with explanation. 

Does the policy apply to co-authored papers?  How does the policy apply to papers with one or more co-authors outside of UIC? 

  • Each joint author of an article holds copyright in the article and, individually, has the authority to grant UIC a non-exclusive license.  Even if your co-author is outside of UIC, you would still be expected to adhere to the policy.

What if I can tell from the Sherpa Romeo Website that the publisher will already allow me to immediately post the article on an institutional open-access repository?  What if a publisher tells me I don’t need to use the addendum?

  • There are several reasons why it would be a good idea to use the addendum.  One is because it allows you to assert your rights as the copyright owner.  The publisher allowing you to post an article on our IR doesn’t make you the copyright owner.  Also not using the addendum would not give the University a non-exclusive license (which would be in breach of the policy).  However, if the publisher’s agreement is completely consistent with the CIC addendum, you wouldn’t need to use the addendum. 

What if I applied for a waiver.  Should I still put my article up in INDGIO?

  • Yes, even if you applied for a waiver put your article up in INDGIO, if the publisher allows for it.  Check the Sherpa Romeo Website to determine if your article can go up in the University’s IR, what version can go up (final peer reviewed manuscript vs publisher PDF) and if there is an embargo period.

If I have already submitted my articles to an open-access journal, should I still upload my article into INDIGO.

  • Yes, please submit your article to INDIGO even if it was published in an open access journal.   Having a strong collection of library publications in INDGIO allows the library to promote all the great research we do.   Because of the persistent URLS, you can even use INDIGO as a link to share your publications with others.

What if there is an embargo period?  I don’t know if I will remember to post my article to INDGIO in 6 or 12 months?

  • Still upload your article within 30 days of publication to INDGIO.  When you upload your article into INDIGO, you will be able to provide information related to embargos.  Once the embargo period is up, the article will automatically be made public.  (This feature is coming soon but not yet available)

How likely are Publishers to Agree to the CIC addendum?

  • It is not really know at this point how all publishers will react.  Even if you end up asking for a waiver, in many cases it is possible to post the manuscript in the IR, making the article accessible to all.  Consult with Sherpa Romeo for the journal's archiving policy.

What about my older publications that were published prior to the policy?  Should my retrospective work also be submitted to INDIGO?

  • Although it is not required, it would be great if you posted your earlier publications in INDIGO.  This will allow more people to find these publications, particularly if the only other way to access them is through journal subscriptions.   Please check the Sherpa Romeo website to determine if you can post older publications and if you must post the publisher PDF or the final peer review manuscript.

How do I upload my articles into INDIGO?  Are there instructions that I can use.


Attribution: FAQ adopted from Open Access Policy Proposal – Frequently Asked questions – University of California and Policy FAQ from Harvard University.

Check Publishers' Policies

The SHERPA RoMEO database provides a way to check publishers' policies on copyright and self-archiving. Before submitting to a particular publisher, check here to see how you will be able to use your work before and after publication. For example, you can find out if you can post pre-prints (pre-refeered version) or post-prints (post-refeered version) in a publically accessible archive.