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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.
Myth: Open access journals are not peer-reviewed.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: 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: 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 [email protected]. Many publishers allow this and you can check a specific journal's policy using the SHERPA/RoMEO database.
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.
What is [email protected]?
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
- poster presentations
- other works of creative scholarship
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
"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
"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."
"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 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."