Open Access Policy for Libraries Staff

The staff of the University of Texas Libraries at The University of Texas at Austin is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, Libraries staff adopt the following policy:

Each staff member grants to The University of Texas at Austin permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and conference papers online, and to copy, display, perform, and distribute the work as needed. More specifically, staff members retain their copyright and grant to the university a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise rights under copyright relating to their scholarly articles and conference papers, in any medium and authorize others to do the same for educational, research, and personal uses, provided the works are not sold for profit. The policy applies to all scholarly articles and conference papers authored or co-authored while the person is a staff member of the Libraries except for any works completed before the adoption of this policy. Upon request by a staff member, the Libraries director or director’s designate will waive application of the license for a particular article or delay access for a specified period of time.

Each author will provide an electronic copy of the author’s final version of each work no later than the date of its publication at no charge to the appropriate representative of the director in an appropriate format (such as PDF).

The director or director’s designate may make the work available to the public in an openaccess repository. The director will be responsible for interpreting this policy and resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application. The policy will be reviewed periodically and any substantive changes will be reported to Libraries staff.

Frequently asked questions: 

  1. What does author’s final version mean?
    • The final revised version of an article or conference paper after peer-review comments have been incorporated; usually a double-spaced MS Word document. The typeset publisher PDF may be used only as allowed by the publisher.
  2. How are waivers handled?
    • The waivers are at the discretion of the staff author. This policy ultimately functions as an opt-out policy, rather than an opt-in policy. It is up to the author to decide whether they want to waive the non-exclusive license and/or deposit requirement.
  3.  Are there specific criteria that allow a waiver?
    • The decision to waive the non-exclusive license and/or deposit requirement is up to the author. There are no set criteria as this is an individual decision.  
  4.  Does this policy apply to books or book chapters?
    • No, the policy applies only to scholarly articles and conference papers – also called conference proceedings. Where allowed by publisher policy, the Libraries encourages staff to deposit their book chapters, conference posters and other scholarly output into Texas ScholarWorks.
  5.  What does “and to authorize others to do the same” really mean?
    • This phrase allows the university to authorize other individuals to make use of the articles. For instance, this language would allow the university to authorize a researcher to do data mining on the full text of the article collection. This very clearly does not apply to for-profit uses; that right remains with the author.
  6.  What rights does the author retain to their work?
    • The author retains all rights to their work. The non-exclusive license means that the author grants rights to the university while maintaining their own rights.
  7.  Who does this policy apply to?
    • This policy applies to all classified and professional Libraries staff. It does not apply to staff or faculty outside of the Libraries.
  8.  Who is the director's designate?
    • The scholarly communications librarian serves as the director's designate.
  9.  What is the process for complying with the policy?
    • Upon publication, the staff member will send the author's final version of their article or conference paper (in PDF format) to the director's designate via email. The director's designate will then facilitate the process of adding the work to Texas ScholarWorks and will send the author a persistent URL they can use to cite their work.

Related Resources: