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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Open Access at Illinois: Policy and Resources

Information for UIUC researchers about open access, including about the university policy on Open Access to Research Articles, approved by the UIUC Faculty Senate on October 19, 2015.

Quick Facts About the Campus Open Access Policy

If you have questions, contact the Scholarly Communication and Publishing staff ( or contact your subject specialist .

Campus Open Access Policy

On October 19, 2015, the Senate of the Urbana campus approved a university policy on Open Access to Research Articles. It was approved by the Board of Trustees on May 19, 2016. This policy grants the University a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise all rights under copyright to the scholarly articles produced by faculty members.

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 Illinois University Senates Conference (USC) to the Senates for the Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana campuses. Faculty wishing to take advantage of the OA policy can do so by depositing qualifying articles in IDEALS, the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship.

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 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.

Responsibilities of 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
  • Conducted open meetings with advance notice.
  • 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