What is open access publishing?
Open access (OA) is the online publication of scholarly articles, at no cost to readers. With unsustainable increases in journal costs, OA could provide the answer to maintaining access to academic journals.
How “open” is open access publishing?
- Gold journal: completely open access. Though content is freely available to readers, some journals may require the author to pay an article processing charge (APC).
- Hybrid journal: some content is open access, while other parts are not.
- Green journal: pre- and/or post-prints to an online repository, such as SMU Scholar.
Why would I choose open access?
Authors want to publish in reputable journals and get cited frequently. Open access allows worldwide access to your work. There is some evidence that OA publishing increases citation counts, and posting your work to a repository ensures indexing by Google Scholar.
Some grants require making your research publicly available, so OA publishing can satisfy the terms of this agreement.
Where do I find open access publications?
There are many highly regarded OA gold journals. Use the Directory of Open Access Journals to find journals in your discipline.
Post your work to an institutional or a disciplinary repository, if your publisher allows it. Look up publisher policies at Sherpa/Romeo. Note: networking sites like Research Gate are not the same as a repository.
What else should I know?
Your librarian can help with questions about OA publishing.
If you have a choice between a gold and a green journal, you are better off publishing in a gold journal.
Some universities have local OA policies. When you join a new institution, check their guidelines.
You can maintain copyright, even for OA articles. Most platforms allow you to apply a Creative Commons license, so others use your work only in the ways you deem acceptable.