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Open Access

What is Open Access?

"Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access is the needed modern update for the communication of research that fully utilizes the Internet for what it was originally built to do—accelerate research" - SPARC

The open access movement is transforming the traditional model of scholarly publishing and challenging established norms for the access, sharing, and re-purposing of knowledge. Three central and influential international documents define the issues surrounding open access: Budapest InitiativeBethesda Statement, and Berlin Declaration. The open access publisher PLOS succinctly identifies the dual components of open access as "unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse." Open access eliminates barriers, such as price and copyright restrictions; impediments that hinder access to scholarship and the knowledge it confers. Open access guarantees research is available online at no cost and permits the transformation of ideas to improve society. Here are some recommended resources to learn more:



Types of OA

Gold Open Access

Gold OA is open access provided by journals. These journals make articles available for free to readers when they are published. Authors may be asked to pay an article processing charge to have their article published with gold open access.

Green Open Access

Green OA is open access driven by the author. Some journal policies allow authors to archive pre-print or post-print versions of their articles. Sometimes temporary embargoes are required. You can check a journal's open access and archiving policies on the Sherpa/Romeo website.

Hybrid Open Access

Hybrid OA is a type of Gold OA where a subscription journal gives authors the option to make individual articles freely accessible to readers, for an additional fee. Other articles in the journal remain accessible only through subscription. This may mean that the author pays for publication and the subscribers to the journal continue to pay the same price for access to articles from the journal, resulting in publishers getting paid twice for the articles published this way.

Diamond Open Access 

Diamond OA is a publication model in which journal platforms do not charge either the authors or the readers fees to publish or read articles. These journals are community-driven, academic-led, and academic-owned publishing initiatives that are equitable. 


Open Access Explained