Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access publishing is a movement that makes scholarly content available free of charge. The University Libraries support open access, open archives, and open repositories as methods for publishing and researching that encourage the widest possible access to scholarly content.

There are two main types of ways that scholarly works can become openly accessible. These ways differ in their publication method, but both ways allow the same actual content to be viewable.

If content is published “Gold Open Access,” it has been submitted to a publisher that will produce open access output; for example, a journal like PLOS One that immediately provides free access to its articles.

If content is published by “Green Open Access,” the author has archived some version into an open access repository, regardless of the publisher’s source; for example, in a subject-specific repository like PubMed or in an institution-specific repository like UNC’s CDR.


open access logo

Please refer to the below for more information:

UNC’s Open Access Policy

In July 2005, UNC’s Faculty Council passed a resolution about faculty author rights that stated, “Be it resolved that UNC-Chapel Hill faculty are the owners of their research and should retain ownership and use open access publication venues whenever possible.”

In April 2015, UNC’s Faculty Council went a step further and passed a  Resolution on Endorsing an Open Access Policy. This resolution became the UNC Open Access Policy.

UNC's Open Access Policy's goals:
  • To allow the fruits of faculty research and scholarship to be disseminated as widely as possible.
  • To protect the intellectual property rights of faculty while respecting the diversity of scholarly communication practices across the university.
  • To achieve these goals  with a (narrow) rights-retention policy.

In order to help faculty comply with this resolution and provide a repository for non-faculty university authors, University Libraries staff  developed and support the Carolina Digital Repository (CDR).

If you have questions about the Open Access Policy, check out our FAQs or contact Anne Gilliland, the Library’s Scholarly Communications Officer.

If you have questions about the CDR submissions process, contact the CDR staff.