Open Access meetings

Published: April 2, 2014

Over the past few years, various groups on this campus have discussed the development of an open access policy that could be adopted by CU-Boulder faculty. Groups involved with these discussions have included Faculty Affairs, the University Libraries, CU Student Government (CUSG), the United Government of Graduate Students (UGGS), and the Boulder Faculty Assembly (BFA). 

Adopting a campus open access policy would help faculty retain the rights to their own work, including the right to make versions of their scholarly articles publicly available via their own or an institutional website. In doing so, CU-Boulder would follow the path that many other institutions have chosen in order to protect author rights and promote open access to research and scholarship. Campus-level open access policies are also in line with the public access requirements in place or under consideration at all major federal funding agencies (e.g., NIH, NSF).

Draft language for the policy was developed following the best practices of AAU peer institutions, including the University of California, Harvard University, and the University of Kansas (among many others). This language was also vetted and approved by University Counsel and subsequently adopted by the University Libraries faculty in October of 2013. The full text of the University Libraries’ existing policy as well as resolutions in support of open access from UGGS and the BFA are available here:

Adopting a campus policy to address public access to research and author rights would help CU-Boulder faculty by:

  • Automatically retaining faculty rights to make versions of their scholarly articles publicly available
  • Clarifying the copyright status of articles that faculty post on their own and other websites
  • Increasing the global visibility, and likely the citation rate, of faculty articles
  • Making CU-Boulder faculty research more accessible to scholars at institutions that cannot afford costly journal subscriptions, policy makers, professionals not affiliated with academic institutions, and the general public

Other key facts about the policy include:

  • Faculty can still publish articles in any journal they choose
  • The policy only applies to scholarly articles for which, unlike books, there is no expectation of payment of royalties for the author
  • The policy has no effect on peer review
  • The policy has no financial cost to the campus or individual faculty members
  • Faculty can opt out of the policy for any reason at any time

For those who are interested in learning more about the proposed campus policy and participating in a discussion about what it would mean for CU-Boulder faculty to adopt it, Faculty Affairs will be hosting two discussions during the first week of April: 

Open Access and Author Rights Discussion #1 - Wednesday, April 2, 12 p.m.- 1 p.m., UMC 353

Open Access and Author Rights Discussion #2 - Thursday, April 3, 12 p.m.- 1 p.m., UMC 353

More information about the proposed policy can be found here:

If you are unable to attend the discussions or would prefer to ask questions electronically, you can send an email to or use this feedback form: