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Publish: Open Access Policy & Waiver

Open Access Policy & Waiver

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What Is the Caltech Open Access Policy?

In June 2013, the Caltech Faculty Board adopted an Open Access Policy to help disseminate the fruits of Caltech research and scholarship as widely as possible.

To facilitate this policy, the Institute requests each faculty member to provide a copy of each scholarly article to the Provost’s Office, who may make it available to the public in Caltech Library’s open-access repository, CaltechAUTHORS.

After January 1, 2014, the policy automatically gives Caltech a license to any scholarly articles faculty members complete. It also allows faculty to legally make the manuscript of their peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers openly accessible and enables Caltech to help them do so.

Who Does the Open Access Policy Apply to?

The policy applies to 1) all scholarly articles authored or co-authored while the person is a member of the faculty (except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and 2) any articles for which the faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy). Students, post-docs, and staff are exempt.

Open Access Policy Waiver

If needed, the Provost will waive application of the Institute’s license for a particular article or will delay access for a specified period of time if requested by the faculty member using the Open Access Policy Waiver.

Submit a Waiver Request

Background and History

The Caltech Open Access policy was adopted June 10, 2013 and became effective January 1, 2014. The Faculty Board minutes of June 10, 2013 (restricted to campus) record the discussion and vote on the subject. A press release was published in advance in December 2013.

Caltech's policy is not unique. Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Law School, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have similar policies. Research funders are supporting such efforts as well. For instance, the National Institutes of Health now require posting of articles derived from research they fund in the open access repository PubMed Central. Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the Wellcome Trust require any scholarly articles on research they fund to be made openly accessible.

Still Have Questions?

Browse our Open Access Policy FAQs or contact us at

Notifying Publishers about the Open Access Policy

Caltech has notified the major publishers of Caltech articles about the policy. To be thorough, authors may communicate this policy to their 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, they 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.

Learn more about the transformative agreements that we have with publishers.

See list of publishers notified below.

Notifications were mailed to publishers on December 2, 2013.

Publisher Position
AAAS Publisher
AAAS Executive Publisher
ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Director of Publications
ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Publisher ACM Press Books, Journals
Acoustical Society of America Executive Director
Acoustical Society of America Editor-in-Chief
American Association of Immunologists President
American Association of Immunologists Executive Director
American Astronomical Society Director of Publishing
American Chemical Society Executive Director
American Chemical Society President, ACS Publications Division
American Economic Association President
American Geophysical Union Director, Publications
American Geophysical Union Chair, Publications Committee
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Senior Editor
American Institute of Physics Publishing Managing Director
American Mathematical Society Associate Executive Director, Publishing
American Mathematical Society Publisher
American Meteorological Society Director of Publications
American Physical Society Editor-in-Chief
American Physiological Society Executive Director
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Executive Director
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Director of Publications
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Chair, Publications Committee
American Society for Cell Biology President
American Society For Microbiology President
American Society of Mechanical Engineers Executive Director
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Editor
Annual Reviews President and Editor in Chief
Association For Research In Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc. Director of Publishing & Communications
Association For Research In Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc. Interim Executive Director
BioMed Central Ltd Managing Director
BioMed Central Ltd Editorial Director, Medicine
BioMed Central Ltd Editorial Director, Biology
Biophysical Society Executive Officer
Cambridge University Press Chief Executive
Cell Press Executive Editor
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press Publications Executive Director
Company of Biologists Member, Board of Directors
EDP Sciences Managing Director
Electrochemical Society Executive Director
Elsevier Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Elsevier Chairman
Elsevier CEO
European Mathematical Society EMS Secretariat
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology President
Genetics Society of America Executive Director
Geological Society of America Executive Director
Geological Society of America Senior Director of Publications
Geological Society Publishing House Director of Publishing, Library, and Information Services
IEEE Publications Staff Director, Publishing Operations
IEEE Publications Staff Executive
Institute of Mathematical Statistics Executive Director
Institute of Physics Chief Executive
Institution of Chemical Engineers Chief Executive
Institution of Civil Engineers  
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Chief Executive and Secretary
International Union of Crystallography Executive Managing Editor
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Senior Vice President Scientific, Technical, & Medical Division
Landes Bioscience, Inc President
Mary Ann Liebert Publisher
Materials Research Society Executive Director
Mathematical Sciences Publishers Executive Director
Mineralogical Society (UK) Executive Director
Mineralogical Society of America Executive Director
National Academy of Sciences Executive Director
Nature Publishing Group Managing Director
Nature Publishing Group Head of Brand Marketing and Content Licensing
Optical Society of America Chief Publishing Officer
Oxford University Press Chief Executive
Oxford University Press Managing Director, Global Academic Publishing
Rinton Press  
Rockefeller University Press Executive Director
Royal Society of Chemistry Chief Executive
Seismological Society of America Executive Director
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Vice President for Publications
Society for Neuroscience Director of Scientific Publications
Society for Neuroscience Executive Director
Society for Sedimentary Geology Publications & Technology Coordinator
SPIE President
SPIE Chair, Publications Committee
Springer Science & Business Media Executive Vice President STM Professional Medicine
Taylor & Francis Senior Vice President
University of Chicago Press Journals Division Journals Director
University of Chicago Press Journals Division "Chief Manuscript Editor Science Editorial"
World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd Managing Director