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UMBC Open Access Policy



At its meeting on April 9, 2024, University of Maryland, Baltimore County's Faculty Senate voted to approve a new institutional policy that will advance open access to the University's research and scholarship. In alignment with the University's social justice values, the new policy, "Open Access to Scholarly Articles Authored by University Faculty," aids in the removal of price and permission barriers for anyone seeking to access the peer-reviewed scholarly work of UMBC Faculty. 

The Policy

The Policy

In accordance with the Policy for Open Access (OA) to Scholarly Articles Authored by University Faculty,  all UMBC faculty members grant certain nonexclusive rights in their scholarly articles to UMBC. This grant of nonexclusive rights, called the Open Access License, allows the University to distribute peer-reviewed versions of these articles free-of-charge to the general public, through ScholarWorks@UMBC, UMBC's institutional repository

Under the policy, authors are not required to submit new scholarly articles to any particular type of journal, such as open-access journals. Instead, the policy is designed to ensure that authors retain the freedom to submit new work to the journals of their choice. The policy also includes waiver and embargo options to help protect authors’ freedom and control over their work.

If you are a non-faculty affiliate of the University of Maryland, you are also invited to join our open scholarship efforts by electing an Individual Open Access License.

Read the Policy

The Benefits of the Policy

The Benefits of the Open Access Policy

The Open Access Policy fosters open access by minimizing costly publishing fees and subscriptions. Passage of this policy means that more of the University's timely research and scholarship will be available freely to those who seek it, and that more of UMBC's research will be found, read, and cited. Under the policy, authors gain the ability to make their work openly accessible without the difficulty or uncertainty of negotiating with publishers. The policy preserves authors' freedom to publish in the journals of their choice and enhances authors' rights to redistribute and reuse their work for research and teaching.

Under the policy, UMBC’s Open Access License: 

  • Gives authors the ability to make their work openly accessible without the difficulty or uncertainty of negotiating with publishers;
  • Enables the university to help authors make their works open access;
  • Preserves authors’ freedom to publish in the journals of their choice;
  • Preserves authors’ freedom to decide for or against open access for each publication; 
  • Enhances authors’ rights to reuse their work for research and teaching; 
  • Gives authors more rights over their own work than standard, or even progressive, publishing contracts;
  • Increases readership and citation of research;
  • Makes it easier for instructors to assign your work to their students; 
  • Keeps publicly funded research in public hands; and
  • Helps to control costs for libraries and readers.

How Open Access Benefits Authors

Research has repeatedly shown that articles that are free online are cited more often than articles that are not free online, and this trend is increasing over time. This phenomenon is often called the open-access citation or impact advantage.

The likelihood of discovery, use, and citation of a scholarship is unlimited when publications are made freely available; research previously limited to a subsets of scholars and students with subscriptions can make impacts in communities and regions of the world with fewer financial resources and access to commercial publications. Your research may have tangible impacts on the scholarship and lives of people around the globe who have previously faced limitations in their pursuit of knowledge. 

What effects is open access having on our world? 

Open Access is a tool for knowledge equity by providing access to underserved communities and broadening the reach of knowledge to a global scale. However, open access also has impacts on our research ecosystem. 

In an online research landscape, text and data mining tools help us to uncover research trends and new information. Publisher paywalls and technical barriers prevent researchers from discovering new publications as soon as possible, while open access encourages innovation in research technologies and methodologies. 

Open Access increases return on investment in research funding by increasing possible collaboration and development on results by an unlimited public. Sharing openly increases the value and potential of research to benefit our society. 

Additional Resources


UMBC Guide to Open Access

UMBC Open Access Agreements

SPARC Open Access Basics

USM’s Statement Supporting Open Access Dissemination of Scholarship, 2017