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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

The Medical Research Library of Brooklyn

Open Access Policy

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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
Open Access (OA) Policy
Draft 12 November 2019

Task Force members:

Dan Ehlke - Public Health
Gregg Headrick-Library
Lori Hoepner - Public Health
Mohamed Hussain-Library
James Knowles - Cell Biology
Ronnie Lichtman – Midwifery
Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis - Public Health
Janet Rosenbaum - Public Health

The proposed policy complies with the Chancellor's directive to have an Open Access publishing policy in place by March 31st 2020.


The Policy

Publishing in open access journals is NOT compulsory for researchers at SUNY Downstate. Rather, the policy respects and protects the ownership rights of the authors and seeks to create an environment to help them make informed decisions about how their work is published and disseminated. The policy supports the authors’ rights to determine the extent and type of licensing. The commitment to this OA policy will not restrict the authors’ rights to pursue publishing in subscription-based journals or other venues.



The faculty, staff and students of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University recognize the value and benefits of OA publishing. Among these are:
  • Increased visibility and impact of research done by SUNY researchers.
  • Compliance with the mandates of Federal funding agencies, e.g. NIH, NSF, and some private funding agencies, e.g. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,The Wellcome Trust.
  • Global, toll-free access to research output.
  • Serving the public good.


Authors’ responsibility:

Prior to publishing, authors are encouraged to confer with the SUNY Downstate Library to determine the “best fit” for their research. They will be provided with applicable outlets/journals and submission guidelines that include information on embargoes, access policies, licensing limitations and article charges so they can make informed choices.

Authors or co-authors will provide a digital copy of a peer-reviewed, accepted-for-publication version to the Library for deposit into the SUNY repository. This item will be placed in the repository with any publisher access limitations, licensing or embargoes respected.

If the work will be freely available in another repository or OA publication (e.g. PubMed Central), the authors are expected to notify the Library and provide information about its accessibility.

Authors or co-authors can elect to publish their scholarly works in any subscription-based publisher or other venue of their choice. A digital copy of the final article will still be provided to the Library to store in accord with any publisher licensing.

Authors and co-authors grant the University permission to make a peer-reviewed, accepted-for-publication version of their scholarly work available in an OA repository. Authors may choose the terms of this licensing in collaboration with the library and in alignment with the publisher’s conditions.

This policy is waived if:

  • the publisher does not allow any version of the material to be made available in any other formats.
  • The SUNY Downstate contributor is a co-author and the finished product will go in a repository other than SUNY’s.

It is recommended that authors should notify potential publishers of their campus policy to have a peer-reviewed, accepted-for-publication version of their work placed in their institutional repository.

Participation in the OA policy is highly recommended, even if not mandatory. This is an opt-in policy.

The policy will apply to works authored or co-authored while the author/co-author is a faculty, staff or student of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. Works created at the direction of SUNY are subject to the SUNY Board of Trustees Patents, Inventions and Copyright Policy.


Library’s responsibility:

The Library will confer with authors on determining potential publishers for their work, taking into account subject matter, relevance, restrictions, embargoes and licenses to enable the author to make an informed decision. The Library can also provide supporting submission forms and documentation for authors to submit to the publisher for retention of their rights over their work.

Once the work is published, the Library will advise what licenses, formats and versions of the author’s scholarly work are eligible to be stored in the SUNY repository per the publisher’s guidelines and author wishes.

The Library will collaborate with the author on the format, subject headings, access points (e.g. DOI, PMID, Handle) and search terms of the work to ensure that it is discoverable.

The documents will be housed on the SUNY digital repository and will be accessible via the repository interface, the SUNY Libraries discovery system, Primo, as well as a general web search – as allowed by licensing and publisher limitations.



This policy will develop and change as the publishing environment continues to evolve.

Any proposed changes will be sent to the Faculty Senate for approval before they are implemented.

The SUNY OA repository is currently being developed by the SUNY Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS).



Please submit any comments that will help the University implement an Open Access policy.