Open Access Policy FAQ

In response to a worldwide movement to increase open access to knowledge and to protect the rights of authors, the University of Washington Faculty have joined dozens of other universities worldwide in approving a resolution to establish an Open Access Policy. The policy, however, is not yet in effect; this website will be updated with a concrete timeline as soon as it is established.


      Under the policy, Faculty authors either make their scholarly articles openly available, or request and be automatically granted a waiver. There are no penalties for non-participation.

      Authors keep all copyright to their work, in accordance with Executive Order 36. In addition, Faculty authors automatically grant the University a non-exclusive license to their scholarly articles in order to make those articles freely available via the Institutional Repository.

      There are no restrictions as to where faculty authors can or should publish, nor does it require them to pay open access fees. The policy only affects articles created on or after the date that the policy goes into effect. It does not affect articles published prior to the policy taking effect.

      What methods can I use to make my scholarly articles "openly available"?

      1. publish in an Open Access Journal,
      2. deposit into a disciplinary archive like arXiv and PubMed Central, OR
      3. deposit into UW’s Institutional Repository.

          Who will be covered under this policy?

          The policy will apply to members of the UW Faculty as defined in section 21-31 of the Faculty Code. It would not apply to other UW academic or research staff or to students, although all members of the UW community are welcome and encouraged to deposit their scholarly and research articles.

          What is a “scholarly article”?

          In this context, “scholarly articles” refers to the kinds of articles through which authors share research results to advance research and human knowledge without expectation of payment. Peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers would normally be considered to fall within this category, but for purposes of the policy the definition would be left to faculty discretion to allow for disciplinary differences.

          How will it work?

          Implementation of these services is pending, based on future approval and funding. The University of Washington Libraries is currently working with members of the Faculty Senate to create an implementation plan for the policy. Once an implementation date is set, more information will be available. There are three non-negotiable implementation aspects:

          1. Authors keep complete control over where they publish their articles. Automatically-approved waivers will be available for those who wish to publish in venues that are incompatible with the policy.
          2. If an author is planning to publish in an open access venue, they do not need to also deposit their work into the Institutional Repository.
          3. Similarly, if an author is planning to use a disciplinary repository such as arXiv or PubMed Central, they do not need to duplicate their efforts by depositing into the Institutional Repository.

          The guiding principle of the implementation plan will be to minimize faculty burden. The Libraries is committed to helping faculty with any questions or problems that arise.

          Who can I contact with more questions?

          Contact the Libraries Scholarly Communications and Publishing department. We will be happy to answer any questions.


          Scholarly Publishing cycle with OA deposit