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Open Access Policy

The UNC Charlotte Open Access Policy was approved by the faculty and adopted by the university in March 2024. An open access policy enables the university to archive the full text of faculty journal articles in UNC Charlotte’s open repository, Niner Commons. The policy aligns with UNC Charlotte’s existing copyright policy, under which faculty grant the university a non-exclusive license to use their work for non-commercial educational and research uses.

How does an open access policy work on campus? We know that faculty are busy, so they would not be expected to track and submit their work through the repository. The library will conduct this process and make it as seamless as possible. This policy would also allow you to easily opt out of participating whenever required by your publisher.

Open access policies are a well established practice within the scholarly communications landscape, with the majority of policies passed over ten years ago. We are excited to have officially adopted an OA Policy on our campus. You can learn more about the proposed policy through these resources:


What will I need to do? Will I need to track my works and submit them to UNC Charlotte’s repository?
No. Faculty would not be expected to submit their own works. The library would conduct this process as below:

Open access policy workflow process

What types of scholarship is covered by this policy?
This policy applies only to peer-reviewed journal articles. It does not apply to books, performances, or other forms of scholarship.

Will I need to pay APCs to make my work open access?
No. The Open Access Policy supports green open access, which opens up access to your work without your needing to pay an article processing charge. Instead of the journal itself publishing the work open access, a copy of the work is deposited into an open access repository.

Who else has an Open Access Policy?
Open access policies are very common and were largely adopted by universities ten years ago:

Timeline of when universities passed open access polices

Is the policy legal?
Yes. In North America, at least 179 other research institutions and organizations have open access policies. These policies are very common and journals comply with them. The Office of Legal Affairs has reviewed and approved our policy.

Will this affect my copyright?
No, the author remains the copyright holder of the journal article.  The author can retain copyright or transfer it to the publisher as normal through publication contract negotiations. This policy simply affirms what you already agree to as per the terms of your employment–that the university has a nonexclusive license to noncommercial educational and research uses of faculty work. This is standard practice at universities, where faculty are employed and salaried to produce research.

Can I opt out?
Yes, you will be able to opt out for any individual article you don’t want included through a simple form.

When would this happen?
In order for the library perfect the workflow for soliciting and ingesting works, we have set the date of implementation for December 15, 2025. Works published after that date would be subject to the policy. We would not retroactively apply the policy to previously published works.

If you have additional questions, please contact:

  • Liz Siler, Associate Dean for Collection Services,
  • Jeff McAdams, Engineering and Open Education Librarian,
  • Savannah Lake, Digital Scholarship Librarian,