Key Examples of Institutional OA Policies

The following are the three main types of open access policies (though use of these designations is somewhat fluid):Mandatory deposit policy – see the Université de Liège’s mandate as described in these 2007 meeting minutes

  • Policy seeks no rights
  • Mandatory deposit upon acceptance for publication; no waivers
  • Restricted items are dark, but metadata is open
  • Restricted items are available in full text to institutional members, and through “request a copy” button for external members
  • Deposit is a precondition for research assessment (tenure, promotion, grants)

“Opt-out” or rights-retention policy – see the Harvard Model Open Access Policy

  • Policy grants institution (without action by author) a nonexclusive license to make scholarly works available for noncommercial use through repository
  • Flips the switch from “opt-in” to “opt-out”
  • Waiver provided as option
  • Not compulsory

Resolution-based or “opt-in” policy

  • Non-binding resolution to make “best effort” to deposit or publish OA

Canadian Open Access Policies

The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory at the University of Victoria maintains a list of existing open access policies at Canadian institutions. As of mid-2019, there are ten policies or statements at the institution level, seven by librarian groups, and two at the faculty or department level. Almost all of these are non-binding resolution-based policies (see sidebar).

International Open Access Policies

In addition to the Harvard and Liège policies (discussed in the sidebar) which are frequently used as a starting point for discussions within institutions, another interesting model is the UK Scholarly Communications Licence (UK-SCL) and Model Policy. It has been developed consortially, but has not yet been adopted by any UK institutions.

A Note About the Evolution of ‘Open’ Policies

It is anticipated that open policies will evolve or be more expansive as open data, open education, open pedagogy, and other forms of open scholarship continue to gain ground. We look forward to revising this page as new forms of policies emerge.





Icon for CC-BY Creative Commons licenceThis work, the CARL Institutional Open Access Policy Toolkit, was developed by members of the CARL Advancing Research Committee and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.