In an effort to support open access publishing and adhere to the UC’s principles on “scholarly communication,” UC Santa Barbara signed onto the Open Access 2020 Expression of Interest on March 6.

Jenny Luo / Daily Nexus

According to the mission statement on its website, Open Access 2020 (OA2020) “aims to transform a majority of today’s scholarly journals from subscription to OA publishing in accordance with community-specific publication preferences.”

In subscription-based journals, readers typically must pay to access academic publications, and authors who publish in subscription-based journals will only see their work circulated among subscribers to the journal they publish with and purchasers of the individual article.

In the OA model, the public has unrestricted access to content, ensuring a wider readership. Meanwhile, writers are generally able to retain copyrights for their work.

In the expression of interest, UCSB affirmed its goal of breaking “down historical and financial barriers to access, and [transforming] the scholarly communication system through which research results are disseminated.”

Signatories of the Expression of Interest included Executive Vice Chancellor David Marshall, UCSB Academic Senate Chair Henning Bohn and University Librarian Kristin Antelman.

Alongside the Expression of Interest, the UC system and Cambridge University Press have entered into a three-year open access agreement which will give the UC access to over 400 academic journals and provide authors within the UC system opportunities for open access publishing in Cambridge’s academic journals.

The OA2020 Expression of Interest was signed about a week after the UC terminated its subscription with the Dutch information and analytics company Elsevier in late February after months of negotiations.

According to a statement from the UC Office of the President released on Feb. 28, Elsevier was “unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals.”

Elsevier’s proposed terms would have charged the UC system “large publishing fees on top of the university’s multi-million dollar subscription, resulting in much greater cost to the university and much higher profits for Elsevier.”

The UC has long supported a transition to OA publishing; on Feb. 27, 2018, the UC libraries released the “Pathways to OA” analysis, a compilation of documents intended to aid campus and digital libraries with individual and collective decision-making regarding which strategies should be pursued in order to facilitate a large-scale shift to OA.

UCSB is among 136 global scholarly organizations to sign onto OA2020 and the seventh UC to do so, following in the footsteps of Berkeley, Merced, Davis, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and San Francisco.


Sean Crommelin
Sean Crommelin is the Science and Tech Editor for the Daily Nexus. He can be reached at