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UI Open Access Policy: FAQs

Information about the University Policy on Open Access to Research Articles.

FAQs and Response

What do I have to do to comply with the policy?

Who’s covered by the policy?

Do I still own the copyright?

Can I sign away my copyright?

What if I am asked to sign a Waiver?

Does the UI OA policy cover every article I’ve ever written?

When it’s time to sign your publishing agreement…

What are waivers and embargoes?

Does my publisher know that UIC has open access policies?

My publisher charges $____ for open access. Do I have to pay that to comply with UIC’s OA policies?

My publisher’s policy says _____________, which is different from UI’s OA policies.

My publisher didn’t require me to get a waiver for my article. Now what?

Do I have to get permission from my co-authors to comply with the UI OA policy?

What kinds of writings are covered?

What if my article is already openly available?

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

Do the UI OA policies allow commercial use of faculty articles by INDIGO end users?

How will people find my article once it’s openly available?

Can UI authors make their work open access if it has copyrighted images in it?

 

 

  • What do I have to do to comply with the policy?

The University of Illinois (UI) )Open Access (OA) to Research Policy reserve rights for UI faculty to make their articles freely available to the public in an open access repository. They do this by automatically granting a non-exclusive copyright license to the University prior to any later agreements authors may make with publishers, for the purpose of making the article available in an open acces repository. UI retains those rights regardless of what rights authors may subsequently transfer to publishers. The OA policies don’t say where UI authors should publish or require them to pay open access fees to publishers in order to comply.

For any article covered by the policies, authors should provide the author’s final version (see information about versions below) for inclusion in INDIGO, UIC’s open access repository.

The library will continue to send out emails to faculty regarding publications indexed in Scopus and Web of Science.  If you want us to upload the article for you, just attach the author’s final version to the email request.  If the article was published in a journal not indexed by Scopus or Web of Science, faculty can either deposit the article directly into INDIGO or email the citation and final author version of the article to the Library’s Scholarly Communication department and we will upload it for you.  Authors that have deposited their articles in another OA repository (i.e. PubMed Central) do not need to do anything further, but we will upload it in INDIGO if you send us the author’s final version. 

If a publisher requires an author to opt out of a UI OA policy in order to publish an article or if an author independently wishes to opt out of a policy for a particular article, the author can use the Request a Waiver form or read the question below about waivers and embargoes. The full text of the policy is found here:   Policy on Open Access to Research Articles at the University of Illinois.

  • Who’s covered by the policy?

This Open Access policy covers all current Faculty members as defined by the Statutes: “members of the academic staff with the rank or title in that unit of “professor, associate professor, or assistant professor who are tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure, and those administrators in the direct line of responsibility for academic affairs”
(Article II: Section 3.(a).1).

  • Do I still own the copyright to my article?

This policy does not transfer copyright ownership, which generally remains with Faculty authors under existing University of Illinois General Rules (Article III. Section 4(a)).  When it comes time to sign your publishing agreement, even if your publisher requires that you transfer copyright, you may go ahead and do that..

  • Can I sign away my copyright?

When it comes time to sign your publishing agreement, if your publisher requires that you transfer copyright, you may go ahead and do that..

  • What if I am asked to sign a waiver?

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 using the Request a Waiver form.  You can also use the Request a Waiver form to opt out for other reasons.  If you haven’t been asked for a waiver or embargo letter, you don’t need one.  

  • Does the UI OA policy cover every article I’ve ever written?

No, the policy only covers scholarly articles for which a publication agreement was signed after the policy that applies to you was adopted or issued.

The effective dates for UI’s open access policy will either be following UIC Senate endorsement of the policy or notification from the University President. Whether and how you can share articles online that predate your policy depends on the terms of the original publishing agreements you signed.

  • When it’s time to sign your publishing agreement…

Go ahead and sign, 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 using the Request a Waiver form.  You can also use the Request a Waiver form to opt out for other reasons.

  • What are waivers and embargoes?

waiver enables an author to opt out of a UI OA policy completely for a particular article. (Waiver requests are rare and most typically originate with publishers who object to the terms of UI’s OA policies.) The author’s rights are then limited to what is allowed by the publication agreement that was signed with the publisher.

An embargo delays public access to an article in INDIGO (UIC’s open access repository) until a predetermined time period has elapsed after the article’s publication. The author chooses to retain the rights reserved by the relevant UI OA policy, but agrees not to exercise those rights until the embargo period has passed.  You can still provide your final author version to the library right after the publication of your article.   Library staff will consult with an online resource called Sherpa Romeo and set the embargo as appropriate.   If you upload the material yourself into INDIGO, you can also set the embargo period as appropriate.

  • Does my publisher know that UI has open access policies?

We will be working to inform as many publishers as possible of our policy. 

  • My publisher charges $____ for open access. Do I have to pay that to comply with UI’s OA policies?

No. The publisher charges those fees to fund open access publication of your article at the journal’s website, but there are two ways to make scholarship open: through publisher-hosted OA (which sometimes involves fees) and through self-archiving by an author. UI’s OA policies use the latter route, by reserving rights for authors to include the author’s version of their articles in an open access repository like INDIGO. There is no fee associated with this self-archiving function. Authors may choose to pursue paid, publisher-hosted OA for their own reasons, but that is not required or suggested by the UI OA policies. You can read more about the two different approaches to open access on the About Open Access guide.

  • My publisher’s policy says _____________, which is different from UI’s OA policies.

Publishers’ policies will not, by default, represent the terms of institutional open access policies. You should read, and keep, any agreement you sign. In particular, you may want to look out for rare contract terms asking you to affirm that you have obtained a waiver of any institutional open access policy, or that you have not previously licensed any rights in your article to anyone besides your publisher. At the same time, understand that the UI OA policies are intended to preempt or augment publishers’ default terms, granting UI – and by extension you – rights to share your article beyond what is allowed in a standard publication agreement. 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 UI’s policies.

  • My publisher didn’t require me to get a waiver for my article. Now what?

Go through the article publication process as you normally would. When the article is published, you will be contacted via email (if the article is indexed in Scopus or Web of Science) to request your final author version to post into INDIGO.  Just respond back to the email with the final author version attached if you would like the library to upload the content into INDIGO on your behalf.  If there is embargo period required by the publisher, library staff will set the embargo time in INDIGO so that access to the publication through INDIGO is not possible until the embargo period is over, at which time INDIGO will automatically release it.   If the article was published in a journal not indexed by Scopus or Web of Science, faculty can either deposit the article directly into INDIGO or email the citation and final author version of the article to the Library’s Scholarly Communication department and we will upload it for you.  Authors that have deposited their articles in another OA repository (i.e. PubMed Central) do not need to do anything further, but we will upload it in INDIGO if you send us the author’s final version. 

  • Do I have to get permission from my co-authors to comply with a UC OA policy?

No. Under US copyright law, any joint author can give nonexclusive permission to copy and distribute the work. 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.

  • What kinds of writings are covered?

The policies apply to “scholarly articles.” This phrase refers to published research articles in the broadest sense of the term, but not to monographs or to dissertations and theses. Authors are best situated to understand what writings fit the category of “scholarly articles” within their discipline. All such articles should be deposited in INDIGO.

  • 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 don’t need to do anything.

Social networking sites like Academia.edu and ResearchGate are not repositories and do not provide the same sorts of services, such as supporting open metadata and providing long-term preservation, so depositing your article there does not fulfill the terms of the policies. You can read more about the difference between social networking sites and open access repositories here.

  • How do I know if I’m depositing the right version?

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.

  • Do the UI OA policies allow commercial use of faculty articles by INDIGO end users?

Only if the author depositing the article chooses to allow commercial reuse at the time of deposit. The default for all deposited articles is the default under copyright law – all rights reserved, with exceptions for things like fair use and classroom display. Authors may alternatively choose to grant INDIGO users additional reuse permissions by choosing a Creative Commons license for their article at the time of deposit.

  • How will people find my article once it’s openly available?

Most people find their way to articles in repositories via general internet searches or using tools like Google Scholar. Open access repositories like INDGIO include information about each item in a standardized way that is easily crawled and understood by search engines. This increases the likelihood the articles will not only be found by searches, but will also turn up higher in search results..

  • Can UI authors make their work open access if it has copyrighted images in it?

In some cases yes, and in some cases no. It depends on whether you had to sign an agreement to get access to the image you used. 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 the agreement 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 in the context of the article, 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, or depending on your discipline, see if there is a different image that will meet your needs;
  • Deposit a version of the article that does not include the images so that readers can still read your argument/analysis; readers unfamiliar with the images who want to fully understand your arguments will need to get the version of record through other channels;
  • Opt out of the policy for that article by visiting the Request a Waiver form.

 

 

Text for the FAQ adapted from University of California Office of Scholarly Communication under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.