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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

UIUC Open Access Policy: Policy Background

Information about The University Policy on Open Access to Research Articles, approved by the UIUC Faculty Senate on October 19, 2015.

About The OA Policy

On October 19, 2015, the Senate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus approved a University Policy on Open Access to Research Articles. This policy grants the University a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise all rights under copyright to the scholarly articles produced by faculty members. This policy is technically known as a "permission mandate." Many other universities in the United States have adopted this model, including Harvard, Duke, Princeton, Kansas, Stanford, and MIT. For a thorough explanation of the legal implications of permission mandates, see Eric Priest's, "Copyright and the Harvard Open Access Mandate."

In the policy, the faculty observed that Open Access, by providing the widest possible dissemination for research, enhances benefits to the state, region, and world while also raising the visibility and profile of the researchers at the University. Under the policy, researchers will retain copyright to their work. Work published before adoption of the policy is exempt from it. Further waiver provisions are available for specific articles upon request.

With this important new policy, the University of Illinois joins other premier research institutions, including Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of California (whose policy serves as a model for the Illinois policy) in affirming the importance of access to high-quality research without barriers to access and use. The policy is based on recommendations from the University of Illinois University Senates Conference (USC) to the Senates for the Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana-Champaign campuses. To view the policy, visit:

On May 19, 2016, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved the policy: According to the board meeting notes: "Each Senate and Provost’s Office will be jointly responsible for implementation. The policy is to be reviewed within three years with reports to the Senates and the Vice President for Academic Affairs."

OA Policy Background

Senator Daniel Biss and Illinois Public Act 098-0295

Public Act 098-0295 or the “Open Access to Research Articles Act” requires that the University of Illinois (along with other public universities in Illinois) establish a Task Force to design a proposed policy regarding open access for the scholarly articles produced at the University. The Act (available here: specifies a number of issues that the Task Force must consider when recommending such a policy. 

On November 14, 2013, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees appointed a task force to address the requirements and questions formulated in Illinois Public Act 098- 0295. The University of Illinois Open Access to Research Articles Task Force (OARAA TF) members represented the libraries in Chicago and at Urbana, members of the faculty from all three campuses, university administration, and the University of Illinois Press. Non-voting members included two additional publishers of scholarly journals, as well as individuals with legal and domain expertise. The Task Force reported its recommendations to the University Board of Trustees on November 13, 2014. The Task Force report can be found here

More Information on the Task Force

What were the responsibilities of the Task Force?

  • The Task Force reviewed current practices and designed a proposed policy regarding open access to research articles given a set of issues outlined in the Act.
  • The Task Force conducted open meetings with advance notice.
  • The task force adopted a report with its findings and recommendations including:
  • A detailed description of the OA policy the Task Force recommended that the university adopt
  • A plan for implementation
  • The report was approved by a majority of the appointed Task Force voting members.
  • Minority reports were issued.
  • The report was submitted to the Board of Trustees, the Board of Higher Education, both chambers of the General Assembly, and the Governor.


Further Reading