Open Access

What is Open Access (OA)?

Open Access is the practice of making scholarly research free to access and free to use, re-use, adapt.  

The purpose of Open Access is to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to increase and enhance dissemination of scholarship. Through Open Access:

  • Increased access: readers around the world can access articles and research outputs
  • Increased impact: the impact of research increases -- increase access leads to higher levels of usage seen through downloads of articles, citations, and alternate forms of metrics ("altmetrics"
  • Increased visibility for researchers, scientists, scholars' institution
  • Increased impact of funding dollars

Open Access is part of what we refer to as "Open Knowledge," but Open Access has some specific implications for libraries, researchers, and publishers.

Open Access is implemented in one of two ways:

1) By publishing in an Open Access journal -- often referred to as "Gold" Open Access

2) By publishing in a peer-reviewed journal and depositing a copy of the refereed version of the article in an Open Access repository -- often referred to as "Green" Open Access

What are some strategies for implementing Open Access?

Organizations take different approaches for Open Access. Some typical strategies include:

  • OA Policy: developing and implementing an Open Access policy for your institution
  • Advocacy and awareness: Launching an Open Access advocacy campaign for researchers and scientists
  • Training: offering audience-specific Open Access workshops -- policymakers, library directors, librarians, faculty, researchers
  • OA Repositories: planning, developing, implementing digital repositories
  • OA Journals: launching a new Open Access journal; migrating a traditional "closed" format publication to being Open Access