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.
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.