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Open Access Resources: Open Access Policies

Open Access Policies: An Introduction from COAPI

Learn about open access policies and their value to authors, readers, and the world at large. Start conversations on your campus about how to get started with an OA policy. This short animated video was developed by the Coalition of Open Access Policies (COAPI) with generous support from SPARC and ACRL.

Funder Mandates

Some research funders such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the Wellcome Trust in the UK also mandate that researchers deposit research results (including either articles or data) resulting from their support into an open access repository.

Sherpa/Juliet is a database that includes many of these funder mandates.

The Penn Libraries also provides a guide for further information about the NIH Public Access Policy.


Open Access Policy -  a procedure used by some universities and funding agencies which requires that authors assign some rights (though not full copyright) of their scholarship to the university or funding agency which in turn can distribute it open access.

The University of Pennsylvania has endorsed a Statement of Principles on Open Access

Journal Open Access Policies

Individual journals have varying policies on open access.  For more information, you can go to the SHERPA/RoMEO database.

If in doubt about whether you may publish your scholarship online, go to SHERPA/RoMEO, an international list of publisher copyright policies, Each entry provides a summary of the publisher's policy, including what version of an article can be published or archived, where it can be deposited, and any conditions that are attached to that deposit.

Using Sherpa/RoMEO

  • Go to

  • Type in the publisher or journal and see what color is assigned to that publisher.  The color-coding differentiates among four categories of publishing (or archiving) rights: 

RoMEO color

Archiving policy


can archive pre-print and post-print or publisher's version/PDF


can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing) or publisher's version/PDF


can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing)


archiving not formally supported