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Open Access : OA Resolution at WU

WU's Open Access Resolution

What is the Washington University Open Access Resolution?

Adopted at the Faculty Senate meeting: May 9, 2011.

The Faculty of Washington University in St. Louis is committed to making its scholarship and creative works freely and easily available to the world community. Faculty members are encouraged to seek venues for their works that share this ideal. In particular, when consistent with their professional development, members of the Faculty should endeavor to: 

  • Amend copyright agreements to retain the right to use his or her own work and to deposit such work in a University digital repository or another depository, which is freely accessible to the general public;
  • Submit a final manuscript of accepted, peer-reviewed publications to one of the University’s digital repositories whenever consistent with the copyright agreement;
  • Seek publishers for his or her works committed to free and unfettered access (often referred to as open access publishers) whenever consistent with his or her professional goals.

This resolution applies only to scholarly articles authored or co-authored by a member of the Faculty since the adoption of this policy.

Currently, there is no systematic University-wide coordinated program to assist Faculty with managing the rights to their scholarly articles, nor is there any mechanism for facilitating the accessibility and dissemination of these works from within the University. The Faculty encourages the Offices of the Provost and the University’s Libraries to establish digital repositories and to provide author support services to aid the Faculty in providing greater access to their work. At this time and as a practical matter, this resolution covers only scholarly articles and does not extend to other forms of scholarly and creative work such as books, art, music, blogs, presentations, or curriculum materials. The Offices of the Provost and the University’s Libraries should encourage any faculty member who would be willing to join in this resolution, regardless of type of scholarly and creative work generated.

Text of the Open Access Resolution

WU Record Article: Faculty Senate adopts Open Access Resolution

What is Open Access?

Open Access when applied to scholarly publishing encompassess three related but distinct issues:

  • Author Rights
  • Accessibility
  • User Rights

The purest form of open access advocates unimpeded access to scholarly research in digital format that is free from most copyright and licensing restrictions. This means that the material is available without a subscription charge for anyone to read, download, copy, distribute, print, display and modify. From a practical standpoint this means that anyone with access to the Internet can find and use, to the fullest capacity, any open access publication. [Source: Scholarly Communications at WU: Open Access]

What Rights Should Faculty Retain?

Faculty are Encouraged To:

Retain rights to their work that permit a variety of dissemination possible to enhance public access to the work. One example is to retain the right to post a version of a work in an institutional repository or a laboratory website. See "What Rights Should Authors Retain" for more information.

How to Retain Rights:

Authors are encouraged to carefully review the publisher agreement form before signing to confirm that the anticipated uses and rights, or the rights granted by the publisher are outlined on the form.

Use the Washington University Copyright Addendum form to retain rights not noted on a publication agreement form.

What Should Faculty Do?

  • Anticipate the ways you wish to reuse and disseminate your work.
  • Use a publisher that allows authors to retain rights or is willing to negotiate.
  • Review the publisher copyright agreement form before signing to confirm that the anticipated uses and rights are noted on the form.
  • Attach an addendum if necessary, in order to retain rights.
  • Keep a record of all signed documents.
  • Comply with any publisher stipulations.

Digital Commons@Becker

 Faculty are Encouraged To:

Submit a final manuscript of accepted, peer-reviewed publications to a digital repository.

How to Submit a Manuscript to a Digital Repository:

Digital Commons@Becker is a digital repository for hosting the scholarly work created at Washington University School of Medicine and enhancing its visibility and accessibility to scholars, researchers, and the public. Administered and maintained by the Bernard Becker Medical Library, Digital Commons@Becker provides groups, departments, centers, divisions, or programs at the School of Medicine with a platform for creating customized collections that reflect the wide range of their scholarly output.

Collections can include journal articles, meeting abstracts, capstones, research papers, poster presentations, newsletters, videos, sound files, and more. Digital Commons@Becker also includes a SelectedWorks Gallery, a collection of personal author pages that highlight the scholarship of individual authors.

For more information about creating a Digital Commons@Becker collection, please contact Amy Suiter.

Open Access Publishers

Faculty are Encouraged To:

Seek publishers committed to free and unfettered access (often referred to as open access publishers) whenever consistent with professional goals.

How To Find an Open Access Publisher or Journal:


See "Subsidized Open Access Fees for WUSM Authors" for a list of  publication fees for faculty from the School of Medicine in select Open Access journals.

Please contact Cathy Sarli if you need assistance with locating Open Access journals for your field of study. Another option is to use Ask Jane which will provide a listing of journals based on the keywords noted in the title and abstract of a manuscript. Open access journals are noted in the results.