Skip to main content

Open Access Policy

Members of Atkins Library’s Scholarly Communications Committee have been working with the Office of Legal Affairs to develop a campus-wide open access policy. An open access policy would enable the university to archive the full text of faculty journal articles in UNC Charlotte’s open repository, Niner Commons. This 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 would 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 bring this to the 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.

Will I need to pay APCs to make my work open access?
No. An 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 is doing this?
Open access policies are very common and were largely adopted by universities ten years ago:

Timeline of when universities passed open access polices

Is this 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.

What types of scholarship would be covered by this policy?
This policy would apply only to journal articles. It would not apply to books, performances, or other forms of scholarship.

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 to give faculty enough time to consider and support this policy, we recommend an implementation date of 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,

You can also share comments and feedback.