Skip to Main Content

How Do I Navigate the Publication World?

Open Access

Open Access … what you need to know

Under this model, the cost of “production” is shifted to the creator (author, parent institution, grant funder) so that access is free to the reader/learner

Reason - Cost of traditional model (publisher managing the process and assuming ownership of copyright) became unsustainable to libraries and those who originally created the content and need access

NOTE - An author chooses Open Access publication to make a work freely and immediately available to readers.  A Public Access mandate requires funded authors to enable free access to the results of their research according to established guidelines; this may not require publication on an Open Access platform and there may be an embargo period before access is open to the public.


PROs of Open Access:

  • Unhindered global exchange of information and ideas
  • Ability of scientists and scholars to build on each others knowledge
  • Authors can freely share and re-use their own work
  • Broader distribution -> greater exposure -> more citations


CONs of Open Access:

  • Obtaining funding may pose difficulty to authors and their institutions
  • Increase in number of “predatory” publishers that do not provide the required rigorous review process and publish sub-standard content for the fee
  • Skyrocketing amount of erroneous material being published as a result and “polluting” scientific literature in general


General information about open access:

Open Access Webliography Adrian K. Ho and Charles W. Bailey
This is a comprehensive overview of Open Access.

Open Access from Sparc (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) an international alliance of libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. 

Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved." 

Lawrence Lessig chairs the Creative Commons project.

Hindawi publishes a collection of peer-reviewed journals that are open access and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Peter Suber's Open Access Overview

Directory of Open Access Journals