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Scholarly Communication

Princeton Open Access Policy

On September 19, 2011, the Faculty approved an “open-access” policy that is intended to make the faculty’s scholarly articles, published in journals and conference proceedings, available to a wider public.  Under this policy, faculty members grant to The Trustees of Princeton University a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all copyrights in his or her scholarly articles published in any medium, whether now known or later invented, provided the articles are not sold by the University for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same. This grant applies to all scholarly articles that any person authors or co-authors while appointed as a member of the Faculty, except for any such articles authored or co-authored before the adoption of this policy or subject to a conflicting agreement formed before the adoption of this policy. More information please see

Princeton OA Policy FAQ

What is an Open Access (OA) policy?

An “open-access” policy is intended to make the faculty’s scholarly articles, published in journals and conference proceedings, available as well to a wider public than can afford to pay for journal subscriptions. In addition, an open access policy permits the University to run an “open-access repository” where the faculty can conveniently make those articles available.

What do I have to do to comply with this policy? 

The policy operates automatically to give Princeton a license in any scholarly articles faculty members complete after its adoption. You may use an addendum stating that the publishing agreement is subject to this prior license. Whether you use the addendum or not, the license to Princeton still will have force unless you waive it.  

What kind of publications are covered by the policy?

Refereed journal and conference articles actually published; not books, book chapters, poetry, music, etc. We intend the term "scholarly articles" to be as explained by Professr Stuart Shieber of Harvard University in his annotated model open access policy.

Where, how and when do I submit a paper under this policy? 

University Library and OIT are working together and developing an open access repository to implement the policy. Once the repository is completed, all papers under this policy will be collected, hosted, and made available there. Papers should be submitted at the time of acceptance and in the version of final manuscript or published using this form. If you have already submitted this version to a open access repository (e.g. PubMed, arXiv) or you published as open access, you may just email the paper's identifying number of link (paper's URL in that repository), instead of the paper. 

What if this policy is absolutely incompatible with publisher's policy, and the publisher won't budge on this, and won't let me publish?

You can obtain a waiver of the policy for any article from here. This waiver (which should be as easy to obtain as entering the bibliographic information into a web form) will then permit you, as before, to give away all the rights to your article.

The journals I publish in (e.g. APS, ACM, IEEE, PLOS,..) already have publishing policies compatible with this policy, so why do I need this?

Lucky you. But your colleagues in other disciplines, who publish in other journals, might also want the right to put some of their work on the Web. This policy gives the University leverage to negotiate on their behalf.