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Open Access Publishing: What Is Open Access?

Why Open Access?

Increased discoverability of articles by potential readers worldwide because: (a) the research is found more easily via Internet searches; and (b) the research is available to all potential readers without a prior subscription or payment; earlier access to OA research versus traditional publishing channels that have longer lag times between acceptance and dissemination. A 2014 PLoS ONE study estimates that 24% of scholarly information is freely available online.

Increased downloads and readership of OA articles because the full text is available online for free

Increased citations of your articles (though there are several contradictory studies in this area). More on the OA Citation Advantage

See SPARC's information on Open Access for more information


Questions? Ask Us!

The OA landscape is a quickly changing one.

Contact your Library Subject Liaison for information about Open Access in your field.

Want to know more? Send us an eMail to schedule an Open Access workshop for your class or your division. We'll come to you!

You can also see our Research Guide for Intellectual Property, or
eMail Dr. Carson for information on Copyright.

What is Open Access?






Open Access (OA) literature is online, free to read, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. --Peter Suber

OA Explained (8-min video)

Guide to Understanding Open Access: When, Why, & How to Make Your Work Openly Accessible

Going for Gold and Green Pastures: OA Explained (slideshare)

Idealism and Opportunism: A Gold OA Overview

How Open Is It? (Open Access Spectrum)

The Right to Research Coalition (Access to Research is a Student Right)

What OA is not...

OA Advocate Peter Suber argues that:

OA isn't an attempt to bypass peer review; restrict academic freedom; relax the rules against plagiarism; or violate copyright.

OA isn't an attempt to deny the reality of costs. The question is not whether research literature can be made costless, but whether there are better ways to pay the bills than charging readers and creating access barriers

OA is not a means to reduce authors' rights over their work. If fact, OA requires an author to exercise more rights than under traditional publishing contracts.

OA is not about punishing or undermining conventional publishers (it's about advancing the interests of research, researchers and research institutions).

OA isn't primarily about bringing access to lay readers. The OA movement focuses on bringing access to professional researchers whose careers depend on access.

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Based on Open Access by Kate Anderson at the University of Missouri, which was in turn based on the Open Access Journals guide at Texas A&M Libraries.