Fellow Story

Niles quoted on University of California groundbreaking Open Access policy

Fellow(s): Meredith Niles

The Presidential OA Policy represents the culmination of significant effort among UC faculty and staff to support increased access to their research publications, from the adoption of the first UC senate OA policy (UCSF) in 2012, to the establishment of the more comprehensive UC-wide Academic Senate policy in 2013. “Until now, tenure-track faculty have had the privilege of passing such policies to govern themselves, but at most universities, such faculty are a fraction of the people who do research and publish articles,” explains Christopher Kelty, professor of Information Studies and Anthropology at UCLA and chair of the Presidential Open Access Policy Task Force. “Extending the same rights to those who aren’t part of a faculty governance system is an important and difficult step–I’m thrilled we have accomplished it.”

Meredith Niles, who recently received her Ph.D. in Ecology from UC Davis, agrees. Niles, now an assistant professor at the University of Vermont, is former External Chair for the UC Davis Graduate Student Association and was involved in the GSA’s efforts to advocate for greater OA rights for graduate students, one of the many groups who will now benefit from the new policy. “Students have already recognized that significant academic contributions come from all corners of our university. UC Davis students passed resolutions urging UC to consider extending the open access policy to graduate students. Now UC has taken the next step to affirm what graduate students have already demonstrated: a strong desire to make all scholarly research, regardless of its source, openly available to all members of society,” says Niles.

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