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Scholarly Publishing & Communication: Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy

Locate current resources on all aspects of scholarly publishing and communication across all subject areas.

About the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy Resolution

The Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy and associated materials are on the Council on the Libraries web page under Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy. The policy was approved by the Thayer School of Engineering in March 2013, by the Faculty of Arts & Sciences in April 2015, and by the Faculty of the Geisel School of Medicine in October 2015.

What is the purpose of the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy Resolution?

This policy provides for scholarly journal articles to be made open access in the long term via the Dartmouth Digital Commons, through grant of a license on the part of the faculty to Dartmouth prior to publishing their work. Authors own the copyright to their work so can grant this prior license to the institution before they sign the copyright or license transfer to the publisher.

It does NOT require faculty to to submit articles to the Open Dartmouth collection on the Dartmouth Digital Commons.  It does NOT require faculty to publish in open access journals.  

What does the Policy do?

  • Allows faculty to share their scholarly articles
  • Allows for sharing on the web, reuse in publications, and for course readings-legally!
  • Allows the institution to provide long-term preservation
  • Includes embargoes and “opt out” options

Frequently Asked Questions

For shorter answers, search the Ask Us FAQs or use these:

1. Exactly what materials are covered under the Policy?

The policy covers the author’s final peer reviewed, pre-published version of all scholarly articles authored or co-authored while the person is a member of the Dartmouth faculty. According to the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), the "author's final peer reviewed version" is also know as the "accepted manuscript," which is defined as the "version of a journal article that has been accepted for publication in a journal.  Content and layout follow the publisher's submissions requirements."  Often, the Accepted Manuscript resembles the publisher's final version of the article, which can create confusion around which version is acceptable to post in an open repository.  NISO states that "if the Accepted Manuscript is process in such a way that the content and layout is unchanged, this does not alter its status as an Accepted Manuscript," and can be posted under the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy within the open repository, Dartmouth Digital Commons.  Please see NISO's full recommendations regarding "Journal Article Versions" here:

For the purpose of inclusion in Dartmouth Digital Commons, “scholarly articles” are defined as works describing the outcome of scholarly study or research that are produced with no expectation of payment, such as those usually made available through peer-reviewed scholarly journals and conference proceedings. Although scholarly articles of this nature are specified, this does not prevent an author from making other kinds of material open access using the infrastructure built to provide access to articles under this policy. The policy applies to articles submitted for publication after adoption of the policy.

2. How does this policy work?

  • You submit your article to the journal of your choice (you own all the copyrights until you transfer these to the publisher)
  • After the peer review process is finished and the paper accepted, you sign the copyright transfer agreement (under the Dartmouth Open Access policy, you have already retained rights to your final peer reviewed version)
    • In the rare cases where the publisher asks that the rights held under this policy be waived for the article, you can opt out of the Dartmouth Open Access Policy by sending the article information to You will automatically receive a note that the policy is waived for that article.
    • In the cases where the publisher asks authors to embargo posting their articles for a given period of time, no action is required on your part. 
  • You contribute your final, peer-reviewed, pre-published article to the Open Dartmouth collection on Dartmouth Digital Commons.  
  • The final peer reviewed version or fully open access published version of the article will be made available to the public through the Dartmouth Digital Commons.

3. How does this apply to co-authored papers?

Each author of an article holds copyright in the article individually, so any author of a co-authored paper can assign the prior license without getting permission from the other co-authors. It is not necessary to get permission from each co-author; however, the co-authors are encouraged to communicate about the policy. If a co-author prefers not to have the article available under this policy, the author can choose to ask for a waiver.         

4. What if the publisher objects to my having transferred a license to Dartmouth before signing the copyright transfer agreement?

Publishers often allow authors rights to post the final peer reviewed version of their articles on open access repositories, so this is not usually an issue at all. In the few cases where the publisher asks the author to waive the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access policy for the article, a waiver is automatically granted via an email request to This is covered in the the "opt out" part of the policy.

5. How does this policy relate to open access publishing?

This policy addresses providing access to articles that are published in a wide variety of outlets with different business models. It does not require an author to choose an open access journal or to pay the additional fees required by some publishers to make an individual article open access.

6. Can I have an embargo on access to my article?

Yes, you can request an embargo for a particular article by sending the article information to the Scholarly Communication Program librarians and it will be automatically granted. 

7. What kinds of uses are covered under the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy?

Dartmouth cannot sell the articles, so for example Dartmouth cannot created a course pack for sale out of the articles made open access by this policy. 

8. I use images and other media in my articles, and sometimes have to sign a separate license for these and/or to pay for permission to use these. Do I have to ask again and/or pay again to have my complete article made openly available under this policy?
No, you do not have to ask again or pay again to include these materials in the version of your article that is available in the Open Dartmouth collection on the Dartmouth Digital Commons. Use of licensed images and other media was covered during your preparation of your publication, and the article as a whole is covered under the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy. However, the policies and licenses for use of 3rd party media in articles vary across publishers and disciplines, so if you have questions or if your agreement specified use in a print journal or the specific publication only, you can:

  • Consult with the Scholarly Communication Program librarians about the license to see if it really disallows provision of access in digital form to the full article, including high quality images or media files, in repositories, such as that being developed at Dartmouth or those required by funding agencies. The librarians will also help negotiate with the rights holders to allow deposit of the images or media files, along with the article, in the institutional repository, if necessary.
  • Use a reproduction with a lower quality image, such as 350 DPI.
  • Remove the image or media file from the article before the article is deposited in an open repository.

9. If I am no longer at Dartmouth, will I be able to remove my article?

The record of your article published while you are at Dartmouth will remain; you may request that the article itself be removed.

10. I already put the final peer-reviewed version of my article into the open access PubMedCentral due to grant requirements or in an open access repository (for example, or Repec).  Will I have to follow a similar process for this?

No extra steps need to be taken unless a waiver is requested.

11. Have there been legal challenges to this kind of policy? What about "restraint of trade" for example?

No, since there is a solid legal and contractual basis for this kind of faculty open access policy, including the transfer of copyright and restraint of trade questions. Faculty open access policies do not result in any restraint of trade and are not a threat to journal publishing business models such as subscriptions.