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UC Goes OA

The University of California has adopted an open-access policy that says that future research produced by faculty there will be made freely available to the public, the Nature News Blog reports.

According to a press release, the policy will affect 8,000 faculty members at the 10 UC campuses and some 40,000 publications a year. Faculty will grant a non-exclusive license to their articles to UC, which will then deposit copies of those papers under a Creative Common license in its open-access repository eScholarship in conjunction with their publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

“This policy will cover more faculty and more research than ever before, and it sends a powerful message that faculty want open access and they want it on terms that benefit the public and the future of research," says Chris Kelty, an associate professor of Information Studies at UCLA and chair of the UC University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, in a statement.

The Nature News Blog points out, though, that faculty members can opt out of the policy or delay the deposition of their papers into the repository. At his blog, Michael Eisen says that loophole makes the policy "completely toothless."

"It provides a ready means for people to make their works available — which is great. And having the default be open is great," adds Eisen, who cofounded the open-access Public Library of Science journals. "But nobody is compelled to do it in any meaningful way — therefore it is little more than a voluntary system."