In a Memo to the faculty members released on Nov.18, The University of California system informed its faculty that after two years of evaluations and reviews, the Academic Council voted in July 2013 to adopt a new Open Access Policy for publishing scholarly articles. The policy was released, on a pilot basis, in three out of ten campuses, on Nov.1, 2013 and will be officially rolled out at the other campuses in one year, if the outcome of the pilot would be positive.
This UC policy might become a vital catalyst to the whole community of informed but not convinced researchers who would like to be socially responsible but to do so on their own terms. Policies like this one have been adopted by more than 175 universities and by larger systems, however, they often remain an emphatic manifesto not provided by means or mechanisms to implement them. In this case, when a large, influential player like the University of California sends a strong signal of commitment to the cause, it may help the OA and OER Movement finally break through.