Academic Policies

AC02 Open Access to Scholarly Articles

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Ana Enriquez,

Policy Steward: 

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs



The University is committed to disseminating its research as widely as possible. As Pennsylvania’s land-grant university, the University is dedicated to making scholarly research available to the Commonwealth and around the world. In furtherance of its mission of teaching, research, and public service, the University adopts a policy of open access to Scholarly Articles by University Researchers.


“University Researcher” shall include (i) all full-time and part-time employees of the University, including all faculty, staff, administrators, researchers, and scientists; (ii) appointees of the University, whether paid or unpaid, including academic affiliates and emeritus faculty; (iii) post-doctoral assistants, fellows, or trainees; (iv) graduate assistants, fellows, or trainees; (v) visiting scholars; (vi) and volunteers who produce research related to their scope of employment or appointment with the University.

“Scholarly Article” is an article that describes the fruits of University Researcher’s research and that they give to the world for the sake of inquiry and knowledge without expectation of payment. Such articles are typically presented in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and conference proceedings.


University Researchers grant permission to the University to make available their Scholarly Articles to the public. Specifically, each University Researcher grants an irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of their Scholarly Articles, in any medium now known or later developed, and to authorize others to do the same for the purpose of making Scholarly Articles widely available to the public (“Open Access License”). This policy does not transfer copyright ownership of Scholarly Articles to the University. Copyright ownership remains with University Researchers, subject to this Open Access License.


This policy applies to all Scholarly Articles authored or co-authored by a University Researcher except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the University Researcher entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy.


No later than the date of publication for a Scholarly Article, University Researchers will provide an electronic copy of the Author’s accepted manuscript to the Office of Scholarly Communications & Copyright within the University Libraries, at no charge, in an appropriate format (such as PDF). Questions about deposit should be referred to the University Libraries. The University may make the Scholarly Article available to the public in an open access repository.


Upon written direction by a University Researcher to the Office of Scholarly Communications & Copyright prior to the date of publication of a Scholarly Article, the Open Access License will be waived for that Scholarly Article or access to that Scholarly Article will be delayed for a specified period of time.


The Office of the Provost will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending policy changes to the Faculty from time to time.



For questions, additional detail, or help with compliance with this Policy, please contact the Office of Scholarly Communications and Copyright in the University Libraries at

For a link to our office visit the OA specific site:



Date Approved: 

September 26, 2019

Date Published: 

November 22, 2019

Effective Date: 

January 1, 2020