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A Faculty Open Access Policy at CWRU: Proposal and FAQ

An information resource on faculty open access policies created by the CWRU Libraries Open Access Committee for consideration by the Faculty Senate Committee on the University Libraries

Presentation to Faculty

Continue below to read the full Proposed Policy Statement. Please also see the left-side menu for more information about this proposal as well as general information about open access policies at peer institutions.

Proposed Policy Statement

Policy draft as presented to the Faculty Senate in September 2021 (See Policy Timeline for policy revision & discussion history.)

In alignment with Case Western Reserve University’s North Star and its third Pathway, Achieve Social Impact, the Faculty of Case Western Reserve University is committed to disseminating its research, teaching, and scholarship as widely as possible beyond the campus and to communities that did not have access to it in the past. In keeping with that commitment and consistent with the Case Western Reserve University Faculty Handbook and Intellectual Property Policy, which assert that faculty authors shall own the copyrights to their scholarly articles, the Faculty adopts the following policy:

Each Faculty member grants to Case Western Reserve University nonexclusive permission to make available their scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles for the purpose of open dissemination. In legal terms, each Faculty member grants to Case Western Reserve University a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of their scholarly articles, in any medium, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same. The policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is a member of the Faculty except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy. Application of the policy shall be waived for a particular article upon written notification by the author.

The Faculty Senate charges the Faculty Senate Committee on the University Libraries to advise on an implementation mechanism for the policy that would: 1) obtain an electronic copy of the faculty author’s final version of the article, or when rights permit, the version of record of the article, and make it available to the public in an open access repository, not prior to the article’s publication date unless directed otherwise by the faculty member; and 2) render compliance with the policy as convenient for the faculty as possible.

This policy is to take effect immediately; it will be reviewed after five years by the Faculty Senate Committee on the University Libraries, with a report presented to the Faculty.

Glossary of terms, in order of appearance

  • Nonexclusive permission: faculty members retain ownership and complete control of the copyright to their writings, subject only to this prior license. Faculty authors can exercise their copyrights in any way they fit, including transferring them to a publisher if desired.
  • Scholarly articles: “research publications” as defined broadly in the CWRU Faculty Handbook, which typically, but not exclusively, include peer-reviewed articles based on original research submitted to journals or conference proceedings, and that faculty contribute to the world to advance inquiry and knowledge, and without expectation of payment. “Scholarly articles” may encompass, in addition to journal articles, book chapters, essays in edited volumes, reports, or other scholarly works that are not published on a royalty-generating basis.
  • Irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license: the permission, once granted, may not be taken back; there are no fees associated with the permission granted; and, the permissions apply worldwide.
  • Copyright: a bundle of five rights automatically granted to creators of original works: 1) the right to reproduce the work; 2) the right to prepare derivative works (e.g. translations); 3) the right to distribute the work; 4) the right to display the work publicly; and 5) the right to perform the work publicly.
  • Not sold for a profit: CWRU could not generate a profit from exercising the rights granted to the university to share faculty articles.
  • Authorize others to do the same: a right under copyright law in which a copyright holder has the sole right to exercise any of the five rights, and the right to authorize others to exercise any of those rights. This language transfers the nonexclusive right to CWRU to allow others to use the articles in specified ways and contexts.
  • Author’s final version of the article: the author’s final version that incorporates changes made as a result of the peer-review process, but prior to publisher’s copy-editing, typeface, or formatting. (Also called “accepted manuscript,” “author’s final manuscript,” or “post-print.”)
  • Version of record: the final published version of an article as it appears in a journal, book, etc.
  • Open dissemination / open access repository: journal articles stored and made available on the public internet, permitting any users to read, access, and use the articles for noncommercial purposes, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.