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Open Access Publishing & Policies: Open Access Initiatives

Open Access Initiatives


Pay it Forward - Offsetting Pilots

Consistent with the University of California’s broad goals for making journal content open access, the UC Libraries are hoping to undertake from 1-3 offsetting pilots with subscription publishers beginning in 2019.  Offsetting agreements are designed to foster a transition to open access by building in options for OA publication by institutionally-affiliated authors while eliminating publisher double-dipping due to so-called ‘hybrid’ APCs (article processing charges for OA publication in existing subscription journals).  Our goal in these pilots is to gain experience with mechanisms for transitioning existing subscription agreements to open access via offsetting with minimal financial risk to UC and test the viability of the Pay-It-Forward “multi-payer model’ of involving authors, institutions, and grant sources in the funding of OA publication.

CDL and the UC Libraries have established an offsetting task force to guide this effort, with regular reports to the UC Council of University Librarians, UCOLASC, and SLASIAC, as well as other UC stakeholders.  All three committees have endorsed these plans and overall approach.


These arrangements offer several key benefits to UC authors:

  • Articles can be made openly available immediately upon publication, without restrictions or paywalls.
  • For authors with grant funding, the cost for making work OA will be greatly reduced due to subsidization by the library.
  • The library will cover the full APC cost if the author lacks alternative sources of funding.
  • Authors can opt out if they choose.

From the UC Libraries Offsetting Parameters - Short Version Rev June 2018