Faculty Resolutions in Support of Open Access



Within the past five years, faculty at colleges and universities across the country (and around the world) have begun to make official statements of support for open access publishing practices - and to actively support dissemination of their published work beyond that which has traditionally been allowed by publisher copyright transfer agreements.

These statements of support generally take one of two forms: a mandate or a non-binding resolution. (The statements are also sometimes referred to as "open access policies").


With a mandate, faculty in the department, college or university (whoever the mandate specifies) grant to their institution a non-exclusive license to share their published articles.  Faculty are required to deposit copies of each of their articles in an insitutional repository (like CommonKnowledge) and they must also notify their publishers of this requirement.  (In instances where a publisher will not publish an article under these terms, there is usually an opt-out clause of the mandate for faculty.)

Open Access Mandate Examples: 

Harvard University, Stanford University, Oberlin College, Trinity University

With a non-binding resolution, faculty express their support for open access publication, and encourage their colleagues to deposit work in their institution's repository, but there is no requirement for faculty to deposit their work.

Open Access Non-Binding Resolution Examples:

University of Washington

For more examples of open access policies, see the Open Access Directory (Simmons College)

Open Access Resolutions at Pacific University


(December 2011) The University Council of Pacific University, a governance body composed of representatives from the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, the faculty and the staff and administration, voted unanimously in support of a resolution that encourages more open and accessible scholarly practices.  The resolution had previously been approved by the Faculty Senate (November 2011).  Through its inclusion of student and staff voices, the University Council's action represents a unique contribution to the growing number of statements and policies in support of open access to scholarship.


(February 2011) The Pacific University College of Health Professions faculty voted nearly unanimously on February 16 in support of a resolution that encourages them to make their scholarly work freely available online by depositing it in CommonKnowledge or other disciplinary repositories, or by publishing in open access journals.  The non-binding resolution is patterned after a resolution adopted by the University of Washington Faculty Senate and is one of the first passed specifically by a school or college of health professions in the United States.