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Open Access

Information for authors on the Libraries' investments to make open access publishing more affordable.

Author Rights Policy

Learn more about the UF Author Rights Policy developed by the University Libraries Committee of the Faculty Senate. In effect as of April 1, 2022, this policy supports broader access to UF research and compliance with funder requirements.

Save with the Author's Accepted Manuscript

The Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is the final version of the article immediately preceding typesetting and layout. It has undergone review and contains all of the author's final edits.

Most funders allow the AAM to be deposited in an appropriate repository to meet policy requirements; this can save researchers thousands of dollars in article publishing charges!

If you are publishing in a subscription journal, you may be given the option to pay a special fee (often up to around $3,000) to make your article open access. But in most cases, you will be able to share the AAM as a free alternative.

example of accepted manuscript vs publisher version

Why should I care?

Hundreds of funders, from federal agencies to private foundations, have requirements for sharing the results of funded research, with a major focus on journal articles and data.

For example, the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy took effect in 2008, and requires peer-reviewed articles that arise from NIH funding to be shared in PubMed Central within 12 months of publication. In 2013, a new directive from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy spurred the creation of numerous other mandates. The Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust, among many other private funders, have created their own policies for grantees.

These policies are widely beneficial to both authors and their intended audiences. Numerous studies have found increased citation rates of freely accessible research, and this work will be available without charge to international audiences, local government partners, students, and others who may lack expensive journal subscriptions.

While there is no comprehensive and reliably updated list of these policies, chances are if you are applying for a grant or fellowship you may need to navigate these requirements. Try searching the award terms and conditions or the funder site for terms such as "public access" or "open access."

Note that these policies are reflected in the terms and conditions of sponsored projects, meaning grantees must comply. Many sponsors will check for compliance, and ignoring requirements to share could even put future funding at risk.

Planning ahead

Funders with public access or open access policies generally allow researchers to include any related costs in their grant budgets.

When applying for funding, researchers should consider two key questions:

  1. Where do I want to publish? ​​​​​​Make a list of the likely journals where you plan to publish. Take a look at each journal or publisher website to learn more about how they comply with funder policies. Can't find this information? Contact the Libraries' Open Access Committee.
  2. What, if anything, will it cost? Fully open access (often called "gold OA") journals have a range of different business models. This means that many publish with zero cost to the author, while others may charge "article processing charges" of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Subscription journals typically have both paid and free options that will feed funder policies.

Frequently asked questions

Public access to what?
Public access mandates generally apply to journal articles whose publication is the result of research performed under the grant as well as to research data generated during, or as a result of, the research process. Mandates may also apply to data or other grant-funded outputs.

Does publishing something open access meet public access mandates?

This depends on the details of the public access requirement. For example, NIH's public access policy requires that the publication be in PubMed Central, which is not automatic for all open access articles.

Who can can help me interpret these policies?

The University's Division of Sponsored Programs has sponsored program administrators who can help with the details of compliance. Additionally, the Libraries' Open Access Task Force or the library liaison assigned to your department can advise you on the many practical applications of compliance with a federal public access policy and can advise on such issues as choosing an appropriate repository where one is not specified. 

Do the policies apply retroactively to publications/data? 

No. Public access policies only apply to publications resulting from research funded after the policies took effect. Check the funder policy to see when it took effect or when a future policy will be enacted. 

Where am I allowed or required to deposit my work?

Each policy specifies the repository where research articles must be deposited. If none is listed, the Scholarly Publishing and Repository Librarian can assist you in determining the best open access repository for your work.

What is the difference between "open access" and "public access"?

Public access is traditionally understood as a more limited set of rights for distribution of material. While open access literature is generally distributed under a Creative Commons (or similar) license that governs terms of use, reuse, distribution, and remixing, public access policies typically ensure only online access to material rather than access and reuse or redistribution.

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