Open Access Logo

Open access (OA) refers to information that is online, unrestricted, and freely available to read.  OA literature typically has fewer copyright restrictions than more traditionally published work, which allows it to be more widely shared and accessed. 

There are various models of open access, some journals are entirely open while others are partially open. See the "Types of Open Access" tab.

For more information, read SPARC's (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) OA Fact Sheet.


Open Access Explained!


Gold OA refers to fully open access journals, where all content is freely available online.

You can search for peer-reviewed Gold OA journals at the Directory of Open Access Journals.


Green OA refers to self-archiving of works in open digital repositories, archives, or personal websites. Many commercial publishers allow authors to self-archive pre-print or post-print copies of their work.

You can check a specific journal's policy using the SHERPA/RoMEO database. 


Hybrid OA refers to subscription based journals that publish some OA content for a fee. This is also referred to as Paid Open Access. 

You can find a list of publishers with Paid OA options, along with their fees, at the SHERPA/RoMEO database. 


Bronze OA is material that is free to read on the publisher's website, but that lacks any explicit license allowing re-use.

That is, while you may be able to read the work online, you would not be able to share a copy or adapt the material without potentially violating copyright.

Myth 1

Myth: Open access journals are not peer-reviewed.

Fact: While it's true that some OA journals, just like some traditional journals, might not be peer-reviewed, the majority of scholarly OA journals are. A journal's access policy has nothing to do with its peer-review policy.

If you're concerned about the quality of an OA journal, look for these indicators of questionable journals published by American Journal Experts.

Search for peer-reviewed OA journals at the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Myth 2

Myth: Open access articles are not copyrighted.

Fact: Articles published in OA journals are copyrighted. Some OA journals allow authors to retain copyright, while others require it to be transferred to the journal. 

Many OA journals use Creative Commons licenses, which allow for wider reuse and sharing of material as long as you include proper attribution. 

If you would like to learn more about a specific journal's copyright policy, you can look it up on the SHERPA/RoMEO database. 

Myth 3

Myth: The only way to make my work open access is by publishing in an open access journal.

Fact: Publishing in OA journals is one way to make your work open access, but it's not the only way. Even if you publish in a more traditional, commercial journal, you might be able to make your work open access by depositing a copy in a digital archive, like SOAR@USA. Many publishers allow this and you can check a specific journal's policy using the SHERPA/RoMEO database. 

Myth 4

Myth: All open access journals charge fees. 

Fact: According to data from the Directory of Open Access journals, around two-thirds of peer-reviewed, gold OA journals do not charge fees.

Even if fees are charged, many authors may be able to have them paid by their institution or research funding.


Myth 5

Myth: Open access publishers and journals are "predatory".

Fact: Open access and predatory journals are not at all the same things. In fact, the most prestigious and reputed journals usually offer some open access options. Predatory journals are journals that specifically skirt ethical publication practices and act as "paper mills" to turn out large numbers of publications in pursuit of profits from processing charges. 

Learn more about the distinction on the library's guide to Predatory Publishing.

Benefits of Open Access Publishing

Benefits of Open Access                                                              

Benefits of Open Access by Danny Kingsley and Sarah Brown,


Open Access Publishing Overview

In this video from BioMed Central, researchers discuss the advantages of open access publishing.

What is SOAR@USA?

SOAR (Scholarship and Open Access Repository) @USA is the institutional repository for the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, organize, and disseminate works of scholarship by the students, staff, and faculty of the University.

The SOAR repository comprises a wide range of scholarly works and can include:

  • research papers
  • pre- and post-prints of journal articles
  • dissertations
  • poster presentations
  • videos
  • other works of creative scholarship
Submitting to SOAR@USA

Follow these step-by-step instructions to submit your work to SOAR or watch the short submission tutorial below.

Benefits of depositing research in SOAR include:
  • increased access to your scholarly work without paywalls
  • higher likelihood of work being cited
  • indexing and linking in sites like Google Scholar
  • permanent URL for your content
  • single location for organizing and preserving your scholarly work
MIT Press Essential Knowledge : Open Access

MIT Press Essential Knowledge: Open Access

"In this concise introduction, Peter Suber tells us what open access is and isn't, how it benefits authors and readers of research, how we pay for it, how it avoids copyright problems, how it has moved from the periphery to the mainstream, and what its future may hold. Distilling a decade of Suber's influential writing and thinking about open access, this is the indispensable book on the subject for researchers, librarians, administrators, funders, publishers, and policy makers."

Open Access : What You Need to Know Now
Open Access : What You Need to Know Now

"Academic libraries routinely struggle to afford access to expensive journals, and patrons may not be able to obtain every scholarly paper they need. Is Open Access (OA) the answer? In this ALA Editions Special Report, Crawford helps readers understand what OA is (and isn't), as he concisely * Analyzes the factors that have brought us to the current state of breakdown, including the skyrocketing costs of science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM) journals."
Future of the Academic Journal

Future of the Academic Journal

"The book includes various discussions on the future of journals, including the influence of business models and the growth of journals publishing, open access and academic libraries, as well as journals published in Asia, Africa and South America. Looks at a fast moving and vital area for academics and publishers. Contains contributions from leading international figures from universities and publishers."



DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals
A community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

Open Access Directory
A compendium of simple factual lists about open access science and scholarship, maintained by the OA community at large.

Open Access Overview
An introduction to open access for those who are new to the concept written by Peter Suber, Director of Harvard's Office for Scholarly Communication.

A global directory of open access repositories and their policies. 

SPARC: The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
A global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education.


The Scholarly Kitchen

"The mission of the Society for Scholarly Publishing is to “advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking.” The Scholarly Kitchen is a moderated and independent blog aimed to help fulfill this mission by bringing together differing opinions, commentary, and ideas, and presenting them openly."

Open Access Week 2020 Virtual Events

Open Access Week 2020 : Open with Purpose

Welcome to Open Access Week 2020!

We are excited to be participating in Open Access Week, the world-wide celebration and promotion of open access to scholarly research and educational materials!

All week long libraries, publishers and scholars are educating students, faculty, and researchers about the benefits of open access publication in all its forms. This online library guide covers many of the basics, but the library will be offering more in-depth virtual events throughout the week on a range of topics. You can also follow our Facebook page for more information and tips on finding, using, and publishing open access materials and research.

See the calendar and links below for Open Access Week virtual events at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.

USA Library Virtual Events

Understanding Open Access
Tuesday, October 20, 4:00pm PT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET:

This webinar will present an overview of open access, the range of its effects on scholarly publishing, and tools for locating open-access materials. Sign up to receive a reminder email or just click the link below to join us online.

Launching an Open Access Journal
Wednesday, October 21, 4:00pm PT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET:
Are you interested in launching a new niche open access journal to meet a gap in the research landscape? This webinar will provide step-by-step guidance to getting started and demonstrate how USA is now able to publish open access journals through SOAR @USA. Sign up to receive a reminder email, or just click the link above to join us online.

SOAR @USA: An Open Access Archive for USA
Thursday, October 22, 4:00pm PT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET:
Gain a better understanding of the SOAR @USA open access research archive, how sharing your work can increase the visibility of your work, and how librarians can assist you in navigating copyright questions to post already published work. Sign up to receive a reminder email, or just click the link above to join us online.

Open Access Week Beyond USA

Open Access Week

It's not just our university library, the whole world is promoting a better understanding of open access this week. This calendar lists some of the numerous OA events around the world.Calendar Icon

We have highlighted some of our favorites below, but click the calendar icon to browse the full list of international events.

How to Organize and Manage Research Data
October 20, 2020 from 10am to 11:30am – Croatia - SRCE - University of Zagreb, University Computing Centre will held a webinar in which newly released handbook about research data management called “How to Manage Research Data” will be presented. Organized by SRCE - University of Zagreb, University Computing Centre | Type: webinar

Perspectives on Openness: Honouring Indigenous Ways of Knowing
October 20, 2020 from 1pm to 2:30pm – Canada - Hosted by York University Libraries, this Open Access Week panel discussion event offers an opportunity to encourage broader participation in conversations and actions around emerging scholarly communications... -- Organized by Rosa Orlandini and Norda Bell | Type: paneldiscussion

Promoting Open Access Through Accessible Open Textbooks
October 20, 2020 from 4pm to 6pm – India - On the eve of International Open Access Week October 19-25, 2020, Koneru Bhaskara Rao & Hemalata Human Development Foundation  and Open Access India are jointly organising a live event on "Promoting Open Accesss... -- Organized by KBR & HL Human Development Foundation and Open Access India | Type: livesession

Copyright, Creative Commons, and Open Licenses
October 21, 2020 from 2pm to 3pm – Canada - This workshop will provide an introduction to copyright, Creative Commons (CC), and open licenses. Participants will be introduced to copyright basics, including the concept of public domain and exceOrganized by UBC Vancouver Library, UBC Okanagan Library, the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology (Vancouver), and the Centre for Teaching and Learning (Okanagan) | Type: webinar

Finding, Using, and Adapting Open Resources For Your Courses
October 22, 2020 from 11am to 12pm – Canada - Not all online course content needs to be created from scratch. As you prepare for your courses, chances are you may want to incorporate educational resources such as images, videos or quiz questionsOrganized by UBC Vancouver Library, UBC Okanagan Library, the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology (Vancouver), and the Centre for Teaching and Learning (Okanagan) | Type: webinar

Building a Foundation: Open Research Data as a Pillar of Open Science
October 22, 2020 from 2pm to 3pm – Canada - This session will provide an introduction to Open Research Data (ORD) in the sciences. You will learn about the importance of ORD to the unfolding Open Science movement; the benefits ORD can bring toOrganized by UBC Vancouver Library, UBC Okanagan Library, the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology (Vancouver), and the Centre for Teaching and Learning (Okanagan) | Type: webinar

SOAR@USA Open Access Repository

Explore the SOAR @ USA
Open Access Repository

Research performed at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences is accessed throughout the world through our SOAR @USA open access repository. In 2020 alone, works by USA staff, faculty, and students have been downloaded almost 30,000 times. In fact, student capstone research constitutes some of the most accessed research in SOAR @USA.

If you would like to add your work to SOAR @USA, contact us at