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UI Open Access Policy: About

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

About the Policy

The University of Illinois Open Access to Research Articles Policy states:

"Each Faculty member, for the purpose of making his or her scholarly articles widely and freely available in an open access repository, grants to the University of Illinois a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same. Any other systematic uses of the licensed articles by the University of Illinois must be approved by the Campus Senate. 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)).

The policy provides the widest possible dissemination for research, enhances benefits to the state, region, and world, while also raising the visibility and profile of the researchers at the University. Under the policy, researchers will retain copyright to their work. Work published before adoption of the policy is exempt from it. Further waiver provisions are available for specific articles upon request.

With this important new policy, the University of Illinois joins other premier research institutions, including Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of California (whose policy serves as a model for the Illinois policy) in affirming the importance of access to high-quality research without barriers to access and use. The policy is based on recommendations from the University of Illinois University Senates Conference (USC) and Senates for the Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana-Champaign campuses. To view the policy, visit: Policy on Open Access to Research Articles at the University of Illinois.  The policy was approved May 19, 2016 by the BOT.

OA Policy Background

Senator Daniel Biss and Illinois Public Act 098-0295

Public Act 098-0295 or the “Open Access to Research Articles Act” requires that the University of Illinois (along with other public universities in Illinois) establish a Task Force to design a proposed policy regarding open access for the scholarly articles produced at the University. The Act (available here: specifies a number of issues that the Task Force must consider when recommending such a policy. 

On November 14, 2013, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees appointed a task force to address the requirements and questions formulated in Illinois Public Act 098- 0295. The University of Illinois Open Access to Research Articles Task Force (OARAA TF) members represented the libraries in Chicago and at Urbana, members of the faculty from all three campuses, university administration, and the University of Illinois Press. Non-voting members included two additional publishers of scholarly journals, as well as individuals with legal and domain expertise. The Task Force reported its recommendations to the University Board of Trustees on November 13, 2014. The Task Force report can be found here:

More Information on the Task Force

What were the responsibilities of the Task Force?

  • The Task Force, composed of USC members, University Librarians, faculty, administrators, and publishers reviewed current practices and addressed the set of issues outlined in the Act.
  • The Task Force requested USC develop the policy
    • USC Committee on Open Access was composed of member of USC and faculty from all 3 campuses
    • The proposed policy was shared with all campus senates for feedback
  • The Task Force conducted open meetings with advance notice.
  • The Task force adopted a report with its findings and recommendations including:
    • The Task Force recommended that the university adopt the OA policy
    • A plan for implementation was addressed that recommends each campus be responsible for implementation
    • The report was approved by a majority of the appointed Task Force voting members.
    • Minority reports were issued.
  • The report was submitted to the Board of Trustees, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly, and the Governor.

Waivers & Deposits

Rarely, a publisher requires its authors to opt out of the University of Illinois Open Access Policy for a given article. The policy provides a means for this to be done. To opt out and obtain a waiver for a specific article, simply fill out this brief form notifying the Provost’s Designate of your need and provide the citation for the paper for which you need the waiver.   

Deposit your research articles in INDIGO, the University of Illinois at Chicago institutional repository, where they may be efficiently and effectively accessed by researchers around the world, free of charge.

There are several ways to upload your content into INDIGO.

  • For several years, the University Library has been sending out emails to faculty requesting your final author version to post into INDIGO.  The University Library will continue to do this for articles indexed in Scopus or Web of Science. Respond back to the email with the final author version attached and the library will 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 will be provided automatically once the embargo period is up.   
  • 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. 
  • Publication already in an OA repository or OA journal

​​Authors that have deposited their articles in another OA repository (i.e. PubMed Central, arXiv) do not need to do anything further.  (The library will still upload it in INDIGO if you desire by emailing us the author’s final version). 

Further Reading

Eric Priest, "Copyright and the Harvard Open Access Mandate."

A thorough legal examination of the intellectual property implications and effects of "permission mandates" like the U of Illinois OA Policy.

UI OA Policy

Need more information?

Contact Sandy De Groote:
Professor & Scholarly Communications Librarian