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Open Access Policy of the Association of Librarians of the University of Washington

Effective September 1, 2017


As a public university, the University of Washington and its Libraries are dedicated to making UW research and scholarship freely and widely available to the people of Washington, the broader research community, and those who do not have access to academic journals that may be prohibitively expensive.

In addition to the public benefit, the policy serves the interest of Librarians and others by promoting the visibility and accessibility of their scholarly work, resulting in greater impact and recognition. It also helps authors retain distribution rights and aids the preservation of the scholarly record.

Policy and Grant of Rights

Librarians, as members of the Association of Librarians of the University of Washington, grant to the University a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise, and to allow others to exercise, any and all rights under copyright relating to his or her scholarly and professional articles, in any medium, for the purpose of making those articles freely and widely available in an open access repository. This policy would not transfer copyright ownership to the University.

Scope and Waiver

This policy applies to all scholarly and professional articles authored or co-authored while a person is a Librarian at the University of Washington. The policy only affects articles created on or after the date that the policy is adopted.

The Vice Provost for Digital Initiatives and Dean of University Libraries or her designate will waive this requirement or delay access for a specified period of time for a particular article upon express direction by the Librarian. Grant of such a waiver or delay is mandatory, not at the discretion of any person or group.

Deposit of Articles

To assist the University in archiving and disseminating scholarly articles, Librarians commit to helping the University obtain copies of their articles. Specifically, each Librarian who does not obtain a waiver to deposit in ResearchWorks Archive will provide an electronic copy of the final accepted (post-peer review) manuscripts of their articles to the University for inclusion in ResearchWorks Archive, or notify the University that the article is available elsewhere on an open access basis.

Implementation and Oversight of Policy

The Vice Provost or Vice Provost’s designate will be responsible for implementing and interpreting this policy and recommending changes to the Association of Librarians of the University of Washington from time to time.



  • All persons employed as Librarians by the University of Washington Libraries or by the University of Washington Law Library are automatically members of the Associated Librarians of the University of Washington.
  • Peer-reviewed journal articles, articles appearing in professional publications, and conference papers would normally be considered to fall within the category of “scholarly and professional articles.”
  • Librarians typically deposit the final, accepted, post-peer review version of their scholarly articles prior to final publisher formatting (“Accepted Author Manuscript” or “Author’s Final Version”) in the University’s institutional repository, ResearchWorks Archive.
  • Librarians automatically grant to the University a non-exclusive license to their scholarly articles in order to make those articles freely available on an open access basis via ResearchWorks Archive.   Librarians do not transfer copyright for their scholarly articles to the University.
  • By granting limited rights to the University prior to signing a publication agreement, Librarian authors are able to retain selective rights without having to negotiate on their own for these rights with their publisher.
  • The Libraries will notify publishers about the open access policy.
  • If a Librarian author directs the Libraries to waive or delay application of the policy for a particular article, it will be automatically granted.
  • Although the policy specifically addresses only University of Washington Librarians, the Association of Librarians of the University of Washington recognizes the scholarly and professional contributions of its Libraries colleagues and encourages all Libraries staff to share their scholarly and professional articles with the world by depositing them in ResearchWorks Archive.