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UC Launches Postprints Service to Provide Greater Access to UC Scholarship

February 23, 2005
Access to previously published articles written by UC faculty will be available free online

MERCED, CA — The University of California Office of Scholarly Communication today (Wednesday) announced the public launch of its new eScholarship postprints service.

Scholars have been increasingly seeking new ways to distribute the results of their research, and postprints — peer-reviewed articles that have been previously published in academic journals — have recently been at the center of this movement to reshape scholarly publishing. The new eScholarship postprints service provides scholars with another option for regaining control of their scholarship and maximizing its availability and influence.

In addition, the academic community and general public gain an unprecedented opportunity to study the published results from the research happening at all UC campuses and research centers. The repository can be accessed for free.

Added to the existing array of eScholarship Repository publishing services, which include working paper series and online journals, the postprints feature allows UC faculty who have retained the appropriate copyrights or who obtain permission from their publishers to easily deposit previously published articles into a publicly accessible online repository.

The postprints are fully searchable, available free of charge, and are persistently maintained in a centrally managed database. The established popularity of the repository, with more than one million full-text downloads of content since 2002, makes it an ideal venue for faculty to reach new audiences of researchers.

Public Access to Scholarly Research

Increasingly, universities are establishing institutional repositories such as the eScholarship Repository to disseminate research results. In a parallel development, both public and private funders are requesting or requiring public access to the results of research that they fund. Congress has recognized the importance of open-access to taxpayer-funded published research by instructing the National Institutes of Health to encourage grant recipients to deposit published articles into another open-access database, PubMed Central.

“The eScholarship postprint service gives UC faculty an important new opportunity to manage their peer-reviewed research publications so they can be accessed worldwide by anyone with an Internet connection,” said George Blumenthal, chair of UC's Universitywide Academic Senate and a professor of astronomy and astrophysics. “This kind of broad access is vital to scholarly communication and to the formation and support of global research and learning communities.”

The repository has allowed many UC faculty to extend the dissemination and influence of their research.

William R. Schonfeld, a professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Democracy at UC Irvine, said “the eScholarship Repository has been an invaluable vehicle for sharing findings from our center faculty and graduate fellows with a wide international audience. After we joined the eScholarship Repository, we have seen the readership of our paper series double each year.”

Commitment to Preserving Scholarly Information

However, the eScholarship program, established in 2000, is only partly about access. It also demonstrates how seriously the University of California takes its commitment to acting as steward over the vast well of scholarly and cultural information that is produced by faculty, staff and students, and acquired or created by its libraries and museums.

“These materials form a significant part of the scholarly and cultural record,” said M.R.C. Greenwood, University of California provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “They contribute directly to the states economic progress, educational advancement and cultural well-being.

“By providing access to these materials, UC can ensure its central position in an evolving global marketplace for information and ideas. But their value can only fully be realized if they persist through time. Only a university is positioned to secure these assets in a way that will ensure that they can be made accessible now and for future generations,” she said.

UC faculty interested in joining the eScholarship Repository and depositing papers via the new postprints service can find more information on the eScholarship Repository Website.

About the eScholarship Repository

The eScholarship Repository is a project of the University of California Office of Scholarly Communication's eScholarship programwhich was launched to facilitate innovation and support experimentation in the production and dissemination of scholarship. The repository offers UC departments, centers and research units direct control over the creation and dissemination of the full range of their scholarship, from pre-publication materials through journals and peer-reviewed series. The Office of Scholarly Communication is housed in the California Digital Library.

About the California Digital Library

Through the use of technology and innovation, the California Digital Librarysupports the assembly and creative use of scholarship for the University of California libraries and the communities they serve. Established in 1997 as a UC library, the California Digital Library has become one of the largest digital libraries in the world.