Faculty at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) decided on a policy that requires them to grant open-access rights to their scholarly papers. The move will make their work more readily available and help simplify the copyright process, according to a report in Campus Technology.
Copyright issues are a big reason for the new policy because it prevents publishers of the many journals in which Caltech research appears from suing authors who post their content to their own online sites or the institute’s online repository. It also complies with a directive from the United States Office of Science and Technology that requires federally funded research be made available for free within a year of publication.
Caltech faculty will continue to publish in academic journals and can still grant exclusive rights to their work; they just need to request a waiver from the policy.
“Ideas are most powerful when they are free to move, not held behind a screen until they are purchased from a vendor,” said Brenda Fultz, professor or material science and applied physics at Caltech. “The new open-access policy at Caltech increases the impact of our ideas by better connecting them to the information society around us.”