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Caltech Open Access Policy FAQ: Compliance with Caltech OA Policy

Frequently asked questions about the California Institute of Technology's Open Access policy.

How to comply with the Caltech OA policy

What does the policy do for faculty?

This policy will allow you to legally make the manuscript of your peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers openly accessible, and it will enable Caltech to help you do so.

How do faculty comply with the policy?

The policy operates automatically to give Caltech a license to any scholarly articles faculty members complete after its implementation on January 1, 2014.

Caltech has notified the major publishers of Caltech articles about the new policy.  To be thorough, you may communicate this policy to your publisher and add an addendum to any copyright license or assignment for scholarly articles stating that the agreement is subject to this non-exclusive prior license. That way, you will avoid agreeing to give the publisher exclusive rights that are inconsistent with the prior license to Caltech that permits open-access distribution. Science Commons provides a suitable form of addendum for this purpose. Whether you use the addendum or not, the license to Caltech still will remain in effect.

The author’s final manuscript, post peer-review should be deposited in CaltechAUTHORS.

When and how does one submit a paper to CaltechAUTHORS under this policy?

Papers should be submitted as of the date of publication. There are 3 ways to submit a paper under the policy, upload the author’s final manuscript, post peer-review, via a simple web form (Simple Deposit), through the Advanced Deposit process or send it to the CaltechAUTHORS support list,  If you have already submitted this version to a preprint server (e.g. arXiv), you may email the paper’s identifying repository number, or the URL, instead of the paper.

What version of the paper is submitted under this policy?

The author’s final version of the article; that is, the author’s manuscript with any changes made as a result of the peer-review process, but prior to publisher’s copy-editing or formatting.

What if a journal publisher refuses to publish an article because of the prior permission given to Caltech under the policy?

You have a number of options. One is to try to persuade the publisher that it should accept Caltech’s non-exclusive license in order to be able to publish your article. Another is to seek a different publisher. A third is to obtain a waiver for the article under the policy.

How does one get a waiver?

To obtain a waiver, fill out a simple web form informing Caltech of the following:

  • Name of Caltech author
  • Title of article (expected or working title)
  • Journal you expect to publish in

AAAS, Nature Publishing Group, Institute of Physics (IoP) Publishing, and PNAS routinely require waivers from university Open Access policies.

What will Caltech do with the articles?

Caltech will continue to operate its open-access repository, CaltechAUTHORS, to make available the scholarly articles provided under the policy. This repository has Caltech's institutional commitment to ensure its availability, longevity, and functionality, to the extent technologically feasible. The repository is backed up, mirrored, and made open to harvesting by search services such as OAIster and Google Scholar.

What about the timing of the release of articles in CaltechAUTHORS?

Articles will not be released in CaltechAUTHORS until the article is published by its journal.  Caltech Library staff monitor the publications of the faculty and can confirm official publication and will honor publisher embargo requests unless otherwise specifically instructed by the faculty author.

Who will monitor implementation of the policy?

The Office of the Provost will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to the Faculty from time to time. The policy will take effect as of January 1, 2014 and will be reviewed every three years by the Faculty Library Committee and a report will be presented to the Faculty.

This FAQ is derived from the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy FAQ.  Text licensed under Creative Commons, unless otherwise noted. All other media all rights reserved unless otherwise noted.