Columbia University School of Social Work Open Access Policy

This resolution is to take effect at the Columbia University School of Social Work as of December 2, 2013, pursuant to endorsement and recommendation from the faculty.


Columbia University is a community of scholars committed to disseminating and sharing the intellectual fruits of their research and scholarship. At Columbia University, the scholarly community includes Officers of the University (comprising officers of instruction, research, administration, and the library) and other professional staff members. In recognition of their commitment to Columbia’s research mission, the officers and professional staff within the endorsing units of Columbia University are determined to take advantage of available technologies that can enhance accessibility of Columbia scholarship by colleagues and other researchers, educators, policymakers, and interested readers worldwide; to employ technologies that can preserve copies of their works for future study; and to provide full-text online discoverability of their scholarly works. The officers and professional staff members also desire to join the efforts of many of Columbia’s peer institutions in support of public access; in the process they seek to coordinate Columbia’s initiatives with customary practices and legal obligations associated with many scholarly works. In furtherance of these objectives and opportunities,


Each officer and other professional staff member within the Columbia University School of Social Work hereby commits to make his or her scholarly journal articles accessible to the public, and to that end grants to The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York a nonexclusive right to these articles, which will be used solely for the purpose of providing and maintaining public access to them.

Implementation of This Resolution

This resolution does not alter copyright ownership rights determined in accordance with law or the Columbia University Copyright Policy. Nor does this resolution create any positive obligations for School of Social Work faculty; it simply allows the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) or other service unit to track publication of the School of Social Work’s articles, and deposit to the digital repository based at Columbia University (known currently as Academic Commons), or successor repository, those articles that are eligible for open access under this resolution. Many scholars based at Columbia University already make some or all of their works available through other publicly accessible repositories such as PubMed Central. In lieu of submission of a work to Academic Commons, an author may satisfy the terms of this resolution by making such work available through an alternative repository of the author’s choosing, provided that such repository makes the work accessible in full text to the public, without costs or other restrictions (other than customary embargoes) imposed on any individual user, and that it offers to preserve and maintain access to the work indefinitely.

We also urge (but do not require) individual faculty members to work with CDRS to negotiate language in publication agreements that would facilitate the ability of the faculty author and the University to make scholarly works publicly accessible.

Scope of Works of Scholarship

This resolution applies to scholarly journal articles that meet the following criteria:

  • The work is authored or co-authored by an officer or professional staff member while employed at Columbia University;
  • The work is not subject to an incompatible publication agreement, license, or assignment entered into before the adoption of this resolution; and
  • The work is in a digital format and of a type that may be included in Academic Commons or other repository consistent with its policies and practices.

The version of the work that may be deposited may depend on the exact terms of that author’s agreement with the journal publisher. If not otherwise specified in the agreement for publication, the version shall be the author’s final version, which would ordinarily be the version after the article has gone through peer review and any revisions responsive thereto and any further copyediting in which the author has participated. Although the commitment in this resolution applies only to scholarly journal articles, members of the university community are encouraged to consider making all forms of scholarly works, including articles, essays, datasets, books, conference papers, reports, presentation slides, and audiovisual works, available through the appropriate repository.

Waivers and Relationship to Publication Agreements

This resolution is not intended to interfere in any way with an author’s plans to pursue publication of the work or patent rights associated with the work.

Administration of the Resolution

The Dean, Director, Chair, or other head of any unit at Columbia University that has adopted this resolution shall be responsible for resolving questions arising within the unit concerning the interpretation and application of the resolution. The Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian shall be responsible for implementing procedures and resolving questions regarding the administration of the University’s repository. Each of these persons may act through a designated delegate.