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Open Access: Open Access at UMBC and around the World

Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI)

UMBC is a member of The Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI), which brings together representatives from North American universities with established faculty open access policies and those in the process of developing such policies.

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)  is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education.

Book Chapter on Open Access in the United States

Peter Suber, Open Access in the United States, in Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects (ed. Neil Jacobs, 2006)..

Peter Suber, Open Access in the United States, in Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects (ed. Neil Jacobs, 2006).

License for University of Pittsburgh Content

The sections of this Libguide Page on Open Access in the USA and Open Access in the World  has been borrowed from the University of Ptitsburgh University Library System's OA in the USA and OA in the World pages created by John Barnett with minor revisions made by Lauren Collister. It's licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


UMBC Licensed Materials

It's important to note that materials licensed and paid for by the library for everyone in the UMBC community may appear free when working on campus or while logged in off-campus. You can determine that an item is free or open access if:

  • It has an open access logo on it.
  • It has a Creative Commons license on it. 
  • It's published by a journal that indicates that it is gold open-access, or that indicates that the entire journal is on a Creative Commons license.
  • It's published by a publisher that indicates that it solely publishes gold open access materials, or that all of their publications are on a Creative Commons license.
  • You can access the material off-campus while not logged in. 

If an item is on subscription rather than free, all the full limitations of copyright apply. Information on using a subscription resources in your teaching is available under Copyright and Teaching, on the Library Copyright Libguide

UMBC Faculty Senate Open Access Resolution

The UMBC Faculty Senate approved the following resolution on December 13, 2016:


Open Access Resolution for the Academic Senate of

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County

The Faculty of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County is committed to disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In particular, as part of a public university system, the Faculty is dedicated to making its scholarship available to the people of Maryland and the world. Furthermore, the Faculty recognizes the benefits that accrue to themselves as individual scholars and to the scholarly enterprise from such wide dissemination, including greater recognition, more thorough review, consideration and critique, and a general increase in scientific, scholarly, and critical knowledge. In keeping with these considerations, and for the primary purpose of making our scholarly works widely and freely accessible, the Faculty adopts the following resolution.

To facilitate open access scholarly communication Faculty members are encouraged to seek venues for their works that will disseminate research and scholarship as widely as possible. In particular, when consistent with their professional development, members of the Faculty should endeavor to:

  • Amend copyright agreements to retain the right to use his or her own work and deposit such work in the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MDSOAR,, or another depository, which is freely accessible to the general public;
  • Submit a final manuscript of accepted, peer-reviewed publications to MDSOAR whenever consistent with the copyright agreement; and
  • Seek publishers for his or her works committed to free and unfettered access (open access publishers) whenever consistent with his or her professional goals.

This resolution applies only to scholarly works authored or co-authored by a member of the Faculty since the adoption of this resolution. This resolution does not in any way prescribe or limit the venue of publication. This resolution neither requires nor prohibits the payment of fees or publication costs by authors.



Other Universities' Open Access Policies

The Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP) is a searchable international registry of open access mandates and policies adopted by universities, research institutions and research funders that require or request their researchers to provide open access to their peer-reviewed research article output by depositing it in an open access repository. It charts the growth of open access policies and mandates.

UMBC Peer Institution Open Access Policies

UMBC Aspirational Peer Open Access Policies

Other Institutions' Open Access Policies

Open Access in the U.S.A.

OA at the Federal Level

Many early endeavors in gathering and disseminating medical, science, and education information (e.g., the MEDLINE, AGRICOLA, and ERIC databases) began in the United States. Increasingly government policy at the national and even state levels are setting the pace for Open Access.

  • OPEN Government Data Act (S. 760 / H.R. 1770)

    Signed into law in January 2019, this law codifies a policy of  “open by default” for all government data. The bipartisan legislation requires federal agencies to publish government data in machine-readable and open formats and use open licenses. In addition, it directa agencies to support innovative uses of government data, adopt consistent data practices across government, and develop best practices for Open Data.

  • NIH Public Access Policy The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy implements Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008).

OA at the State Level

For the most up-to-date information, see the SPARC "OER Policy State-by-State" page, here: This page includes information on proposals as well as currently OER laws for each state.

Also Available for Free: Works in the Public Domain

Public domain works are not protected by copyright because their copyright term has expired or they fall within a category of works that are not subject to copyright law such as U.S. Federal Government Works. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission. More information on the public domain is available here.

Open Access in the World

OA in Other Countries

Some of the most innovative, progressive efforts in the Open Access movement have occurred in other countries. Here's a short list of policies and supporting agencies in selected countries.


OA on the International Stage

Action and initiatives on Open Access are occurring transnationally as well as in individual countries and institutions. Major organizations and governing bodies have declared interest in and support of Open Access to research.