How the OA Landscape is Changing


Many top research universities have or are moving toward Open Access policies. These policies help combat sharing restrcitions imposed by many publishers. In most cases, faculty give up most or all of their rights to the publisher when they sign a publishing agreement, leaving the faculty members with few or no options for sharing or reusing their work after publication. MIT, Harvard, and Stanford, for example, have established policies in which they (the university) retain non-exclusive rights to all research completed by employees (like faculty). Retaining a non-exclusive right over faculty's work allows faculty to still publish wherever they want but provides a safety net for faculty: If faculty sign over all their rights to the publisher, the university will still have some rights to the work to, for example, allow the faculty to share their work on their departmental website or institutional repository. 

Explore the many open access policies that other colleges and universities have through the Registry of OA Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP)

In addition, many universities are incentivizing faculty to create Open Educational Resources (OER) into their curriculum, including recognition awards, leadership opportunities, financial awards, and by incorporating it into the tenure criteria. 


Increasingly, funders have policies that require researchers to publish as Open Access. This may mean tht one must publish according to either the Green or Gold model. Funders increasingly have policies that require outputs they fund to be made Open Access. Worldwide Open Access funding policies may be found on SHERPA/JULIET. Some funders have their own repositories for works to be made available and others may ask that the work be placed in an Inter-Research (IR) or discipline repository. In addition, ROARMAP, or the Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies, provides information on international funders' policies in Open Access repositories. 

  • Universities and institutions are pooling resources. For example, ARL, AAU, AUPresses financially support scholars interested in open access of their published papers, resources, and books with the Toward an Open Monograph System (TOME) initiative. Simmons provides an alphabetized list of Open Access funding opportunities to explore. 

  • The PA GOAL program, administered by PALCI, is an opportunity offered by the State of Pennsylvania offering up to $400,000 in grants for OER initiatives. 


The federal government has seen the advantage to creating Open Access alternatives and has created legislation that makes Open Access an attractive option for researchers and writers. This benefits not only those who publish but also those seeking public information. 

There are increasing pushes for government policy to mandate or facilitate OA and to provide public access to information. The list includes: 

  • The OSTP Directive requires all federal agencies that receive $100 million+ in research funds be required to devise a plan for open access accessibility for the public. 

  • The FY14 Omnibus Appropriations Bill requires that federal agencies with large research budgets of $100million+ make articles available to the public no later than 12 months after publication in a peer reviewed journal. 

  • Congress has mandated Open Access to NIH-funded research to PubMed Central, a national open access repository, with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008. Open Access on PUbMed Central had previously been a voluntary policy but, due to low participation, the policy became a requirement in order to facilitate open information for taxpapers. 

  • As of March 2017, the Department of Education (through a regulatory act), requires that those who receive a competitive grant from the department apply for open access licensing. 

  • See SPARC's Policy page for more information on efforts to expand open access policies at a local, national, and international level.