Open Access Policy: UT Libraries

In 2015, the faculty of the UT Libraries passed an Open Access Policy. The policy applies to all tenured and tenure-track librarians. The text of the policy is based on recommendations from “Good Practices for Campus Open-Access Policies,” by Harvard University’s Stuart Shieber and Peter Suber, respectively.

Any department on campus may introduce or enact such a policy. Indeed, many universities have enacted campus-wide Open Access Policies.

University of Tennessee Libraries

Policy on Open Access to Scholarly Works

Passed: 11-10-2015



The UTK Library Faculty are committed to disseminating the fruits of our research and scholarship as widely as possible. This commitment is based on the following principles:

  1. Open access publishing and preservation is central to the long-term viability of the dissemination of scholarship
  2. Freely accessible scholarship benefits the academy and society at large
  3. Open access increases networking among scholars and the likelihood of UTK faculty research being easily discoverable and cited by others
  4. Open access increases access to publications for the UTK community, given sharply rising costs for online journals and databases
  5. Open access fulfills federal grant mandates for research dissemination
  6. Open access contributes to global information sharing, including for scholars in developing countries who do not have access to expensive databases
  7. Campus-wide open access initiatives provide faculty with leverage to negotiate more favorable copyright terms with publishers
  8. Open access showcases UTK scholarship and thus enhances the university’s reputation


In keeping with these principles, the resolution below reflects the will of the Faculty to make work published by the Faculty available Open Access by default through our institutional repository (hereafter: “Trace”) effective January 1, 2016.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the UTK library faculty members will endeavor to:

  1. Publish in peer-reviewed journals that allow open access archiving or peer-reviewed journals that are Open Access
  2. Submit journal articles to TRACE as soon as possible after acceptance for publication
  3. Grant the University of Tennessee a non-exclusive license to archive selected previously published journal articles in TRACE
  4. Grant the University of Tennessee the right to migrate selected faculty publications to updated media or formats for digital preservation purposes.
  5. Provide campus-wide institutional support for negotiations with publishers and to facilitate the deposit of faculty publications in the Trace open access repository
  6. Maintain academic freedom by enabling authors to opt-out of this policy for any publication, no questions asked, for any reason using a waiver




To assist the University in providing open access to all scholarly articles published by the Library Faculty, each member will provide an electronic copy of the final version of each article to the appropriate representative of the UTK University Library Dean’s Office in an appropriate format (such as PDF) specified by the Dean’s Office. This can be done either by depositing it directly in Trace or by e-mailing it to the appropriate representative to be deposited on the author’s behalf. Embargoes of up to twelve months can be obtained upon direction of the author. Deposit will occur as soon as possible upon acceptance for publication and at no cost to the University Libraries.

Each Faculty member grants to The University of Tennessee a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles and to authorize others to do the same provided that the articles are not sold.

The faculty author retains all other aspects of their copyright unless that author chooses to transfer the copyright.


At the direction of the Library Faculty member, a waiver of this license can be obtained at any time. Fill out form here to direct the Library Dean’s office, or their designate to receive a waiver for a publication. Waivers can be obtained for any length of time (to comply with publisher embargoes, or as long as the Faculty member wishes).


This resolution applies to peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles that meet the following criteria:

  • The work is authored or co-authored by a Faculty member of UTK Libraries
  • The work is not subject to an incompatible publication agreement, license, or assignment entered into before the adoption of this resolution
  • The work is in a digital format and of a type that may be included in TRACE or other repository consistent with its policies and practices.

Other materials, (including but not limited to: non-peer reviewed articles, presentation slides, posters, book chapters, and conference papers) may be deposited in TRACE, but their inclusion is not subject to this policy.

The Office of the Dean will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending policy changes to the UTK Library Faculty from time to time. The policy will be reviewed after three years and a report presented on the policy to the UTK Library Faculty.



Deposit of item: Required (except in the case of a waiver)
Locus of deposit: Institutional Repository
Date of deposit: No later than the publication date
Content types specified under the mandate: Peer-reviewed manuscripts
Journal article version to be deposited: Author’s final peer-reviewed version
Can deposit be waived? Yes
Making deposited item Open Access: Recommended
Can making the deposited item Open Access be waived? Yes


The Open Sandbox

Join us for an exploration of open source digital research tools. Workshops are open to all.

The Open Sandbox is an exploration of open source digital research tools.