Chapter 1-400: Publication Policy and Guidelines on Rights to Results of Extramural Projects or Programs

1-410 Policy

It is a long-standing University policy that freedom to publish or disseminate results is a major criterion of the appropriateness of a sponsored project, and particularly of a research project.

Normally a contract or grant is unacceptable if it limits this freedom. Examples of limitations a sponsor may attempt to impose are:

  1. assigning ownership of results to the extramural fund source;
  2. assigning the final decision as to what may be published to the extramural fund source;
  3. placing an unreasonably long or unlimited delay period on the publication or dissemination of the information resulting from the work under the project.

Chancellors, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) Director, and Vice Presidents, in their areas of responsibility, may make exceptions to this policy, or recommend exceptions in cases where contract or grant authority has not been delegated, when one or more of the following conditions is met:

  1. The sponsor reserves first right of publication, but only if there is a provision surrendering this right to the University after a reasonable interval of time, in the event the extramural fund source has not published within that time;
  2. The statement of work is so written that the work to be done under the project or program comprises the production of a manual, book, film, videotape, or the like, and it is clear that this product is what the sponsor is "buying" from the University;
  3. Special or extraordinary circumstances prevail which do not involve censorship of the results of the project. Agency for International Development programs in foreign countries may, for example, require restrictions on the timing or character of publications, to protect the national interest. Such projects or programs should be judged on their merits in light of the reasons given by the sponsor for any restriction on publication.

If there is any doubt concerning an exception in a particular case, it should be resolved either by refusing to accept an award containing a restrictive clause, or by referring the problem to the Office of the President for resolution. Any proposed restriction on freedom to publish or disseminate results based on national security considerations must be approved by the Office of the President.

1-420 Presidential Policy Statement on Restrictions on Rights to Publish or Disseminate Information Resulting from Work under Sponsored Projects

In memoranda dated August 3, 1970 to Chancellors, Subject: Restrictions on Rights to Publish or Disseminate Information Resulting from Work under Sponsored Projects, the President issued the following clarification of the publication policy:

A long-standing University policy...states that "freedom to publish results is a major criterion of the appropriateness of a research project."...Chancellors, Vice Presidents, and the University Dean of University Extension...make exceptions to this policy under conditions, one of which is being when special or extraordinary circumstances prevail which do not involve censorship of the results of the project (emphasis added).

Recently the U.S. Department of Interior has refused to allow the University to release the results of a study contract, basing the decision on a restrictive "Rights in Data" clause, incorporated into the contract. Thus the University has been denied the right to reveal the results of the work performed. The acceptance of the restrictive clause by the campus, and the subsequent refusal by the Department of Interior to release the information is inconsistent with the University's duties as the principal research agency of the State of California.

The exception authorized in [the Contract and Grant Manual] is not intended to authorize the acceptance of grants or the execution of contracts which give the sponsoring agency the right to prevent, for an unreasonable or unlimited time, the release for publication in the open literature, or the release in some other manner, of the results of the work performed. Thus, the Department of Interior "Rights in Data" Article which requires approval by the Project Officer before any information can be disseminated or published is unacceptable, and any clause like it from any other agency is also unacceptable, unless there is a strong overriding reason, acceptable to the University, why the information in the report must be sequestered.

If there is any doubt in a particular case, the doubt should be resolved either by refusing to accept such a restrictive clause or by referring such cases to the President for resolution.

1-430 Academic Senate Resolution on Freedom to Publish Research Results

The following resolution was approved by the Legislative Assembly, Academic Senate, Southern Section, April 30, 1962, and by the representative Assembly, Academic Senate, Northern Section, May 22, 1962:

Whereas, the freedom of the investigator to disseminate the results of his research is a vital part of academic freedom, and is a traditional right of scholars.

Be it resolved that: The Academic Senate affirms the right of all persons with academic appointments, except registered students, to make public the results of their research, whether orally or in writing, free from direct or indirect restraint or censorship by any representative of the University.

With regard to a staff member's obligation concerning copyrights, it is University policy that a copyright is the property of the individual author unless the work has been produced under specific contractual obligations to the contrary. Unless there are such obligations, the author is free to do with his writings as he wishes.

1-440 APM-010 Academic Freedom

Academic Personnel Manual APM-010, Academic Freedom, reiterates the University’s commitment “to upholding and preserving principles of academic freedom.” These principles include “freedom of inquiry and research, freedom of teaching, and freedom of expression and publication.”