Open Access Clauses in Publishers' Licences

The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), has announced the availability of a report entitled 'Open Access Clauses in Publishers' Licences: Current State and Lessons Learned'. The report presents the results of a review of licences that secure the rights for authors and/or their institutions to deposit published articles into an OA repository.

Report background and highlights

The report is premised against the challenge that OA repositories lack clarity of publishers permissions and policies with regards to the dissemination and usage rights implied by the term open access.As a result, repository managers have to check deposit rights on an article-by-article before submitting articles into an open access repository.

Therefore, this report identified a variety of clauses and agreements that have been implemented by organisations around the world, and from which, the following 5 elements were isolated. These elements are detailed within the report.

  1. Who is being granted the licence? (e.g. author or institution)
  2. What rights are being granted?
  3. What versions of articles can be deposited?
  4. Where can articles be made OA?
  5. For how long are articles embargoed?


After analysing the existing OA licensing language that has been implemented by organization around the world, the report further presents some suggestions for favourable OA clauses and negotiating strategies with publishers. The report concludes that OA clauses offer a feasible option for institutions to address some of the obstacles to article deposit into repositories.

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