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 Initiative, Bethesda 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.
Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018. The plan is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders. Plan S requires that, from 2020, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.
OA2020 is an initiative expanding on the Berlin Declaration that “aims to accelerate the transition to open access by transforming the existing corpus of scientific journals from their current subscription system to open access.”
An analysis of the various approaches to or models for achieving open access, and the actionable strategies that exist to implement each approach, prepared by the University of California Libraries.
This video by Jorge Cham (PhD Comics) featuring Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen demystifies the world of open access.
Importance of Open Access
Open access is rooted in the ethical principle of information being unchained, supporting the belief that knowledge is an inalienable human right guaranteed to all. John Willinsky explained that open access is founded on the moral imperative that each person should be guaranteed an opportunity to "...exercise [their] right to know what is known." Open access seeks to eliminate or reduce the barriers of cost and copyright that restric access to information and the knowledge it confers. In 2013, a White House memorandum to federal agencies noted scientific research "catalyzes innovative breakthroughs that drive our economy" and lauded the value of open access to research to spur "understanding and exploit discovery." Open access offers researchers around the world access to content that would otherwise be hidden behind pay walls. Here are some resources that provide a more in-depth exploration of the importance and value of open.
An explanation from the SPARC website on how open access/education/data are, "critical to accelerating the way we discover knowledge and unlocking our potential to solve big problems and make new discoveries."
The Compact of Open Access Equity includes signatories from many of the United States’ leading universities and international institutions. The agreement illustrates the signatories financial commitment to funding a stable open access publishing model.
Research demonstrates that open access publications receive greater visibility and are more frequently cited. SPARC Europe maintains this list of studies which evaluate the citation advantage provided by open access journals.
The Open Access Directory (OAD) is a compendium of simple factual lists about open access to science and scholarship, maintained by the community at large.
The benefits of open access (click on image to expand).
Two Models of Open Access Publishing
Open Access Publishing (Gold): The characteristics of open access publishing are akin to traditional publishing, by which an author submits a work to be peer reviewed and is published at no cost for others to read. Costs to fund the publication process may be assessed to the author through article processing charges, although many publishers charge no fee.
Open Access Self-Archiving (Green): Green open access involves the self-archiving of research published through traditional journals. A variety of platforms are available for researchers to self-archive their work, including disciplinary repositories (e.g. ArXiv or PubMed Central) and institutional repositories (e.g. ASU Digital Repository) hosted by universities and organizations.
Why the Colors? - Understanding Gold and Green Open Access
A brief video from the University of Minnesota Libraries explaining gold and green open access, including a review of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Advocates of open access frequently speak of it as a "movement. In 2016 SPARC advanced the theme for International Open Access Week as "Open in Action," encouraging all stakeholders to implement effective measures to advance open access and encourage others to do likewise. The movement to transform scholarly publishing to an open access model is supported by government officials, grassroots advocates, non-profit organizations, publishers, and universities. Most importantly, the open access movement relies on the power of the individual to evoke change. Here are some opportunities to get involved:
OpenCon supports a dynamic, growing community that works year round to advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. This community is supported through an active email discussion list, monthly calls and webcasts. The OpenCon community is open to anyone.
We built this site primarily for researchers, to educate them about all the different ways they can be open and how sharing can be beneficial for their careers.
Glossary of Terms
Article Processing Charge: A fee sometimes used for funding the publication of scholarly articles in an open access journal. The fee is often covered by a funding agency or the researcher's institution.
Author Rights: The rights retained by the author when entering a contractual agreement with the publisher. Open access encourages authors to negotiate with publishers to retain the rights to control the re-use and distribution of the work.
Creative Commons: A non-profit organization providing customized licenses which permit the author to retain selective rights and waive others for the re-use and re-mix of research.
Embargo: A publication embargo is the duration between the work's publication and the time it is freely available. Designed to protect the revenue of the publisher, an embargo limits access to those who pay the access cost.
Gold Open Access: Research published in a journal that is immediately and openly available when published.
Green Open Access: Posting a version of a published work in an institutional or disciplinary repository, often with a link to the published work. The repository version provides the open access to the work.
Hybrid Open Access: Publishers make an individual article freely available after payment of an article processing charge, while still selling access through subscriptions.
Mining - Data/Text: The process of deriving information from machine-read material, such as using large quantities of data and text to extract information and recombining it to identify patterns.
Open Education: A transformative movement rooted in the principle of supporting high-quality education for all. Open Education Resources are openly licensed, online material designed for teaching and learning.
Open Science: Open Science is the practice of scholarship in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes, and other research processes are freely available under terms that enable reuse, redistribution, and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.
Postprint: The accepted article after incorporating revisions and edits resulting from the peer review process The article does not include the pagination and type-setting of the publisher's print. Also known as final accepted manuscript or author accepted manuscript (AAM).
Preprint: The first draft of an article before peer review and the accompanying edits. Also known as the submitted version.
Publisher's Print: The final published article in a publisher generated PDF file.
Repository - Institutional/Disciplinary: Commonly associated with green open access. Institutional repositories are managed by a university or organization to curate the scholarly output of the institution's researchers. Disciplinary repositories, such as arXiv and PubMed Central, collect scholarship on specific subjects regardless of the researcher's institutional affiliation.
A blog from various contributors on the role of open access in libraries, scholarship, and publishing. Provides commentary and insight to many of the current issues in scholarly communications and open access.
The Harvard Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) is a crowd-sourced project running on open source software to capture news and comment on open access to research
in every academic field and region of the world.
A moderated and independent blog expressing various opinions on prominent issues in the area of scholarly communications, including topics related to open access.
Open Access by Peter SuberA concise introduction to the basics of open access, describing what it is (and isn't) and showing that it is easy, fast, inexpensive, legal, and beneficial.The Internet lets us share perfect copies of our work with a worldwide audience at virtually no cost. We take advantage of this revolutionary opportunity when we make our work "open access"- digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Open access is made possible by the Internet and copyright-holder consent, and many authors, musicians, filmmakers, and other creators who depend on royalties are understandably unwilling to give their consent. But for 350 years, scholars have written peer-reviewed journal articles for impact, not for money, and are free to consent to open access without losing revenue. In this concise introduction, Peter Suber tells us what open access is and isn't, how it benefits authors and readers of research, how we pay for it, how it avoids copyright problems, how it has moved from the periphery to the mainstream, and what its future may hold. Distilling a decade of Suber's influential writing and thinking about open access, this is the indispensable book on the subject for researchers, librarians, administrators, funders, publishers, and policy makers.
Call number: Z286.O63 S83 2012eb Online
Publication date: 2012-07-20
The Access Principle by John WillinskyAn argument for extending the circulation of knowledge with new publishing technologies considers scholarly, economic, philosophical, and practical issues. In The Access Principle, John Willinsky describes the latest chapter in this ongoing story - online open access publishing by scholarly journals - and makes a case for open access as a public good. The debate over open access, writes Willinsky, raises crucial questions about the place of scholarly work in a larger world - and about the future of knowledge.
Call number: Z286.O63 W55 2006
Publication date: 2005-10-07
Open Access and the Humanities by Martin Paul EveIn this book, Martin Paul Eve sets out the histories, contexts and controversies for open access, specifically in the humanities. Broaching practical elements alongside economic histories, open licensing, monographs and funder policies, this book is a must-read for both those new to ideas about open-access scholarly communications and those with an already keen interest in the latest developments for the humanities.
Call number: Z286.O63 E94 2014
Publication date: 2014-11-27
The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014 by Walt CrawfordHow many open access articles are published each year? This study offers a partial answer, looking at all journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals as of June 2015. Based on full site visits (not sampling), the book offers detailed analysis of more than 9,512 journals and quick notes on several hundred others.
Call number: ZA4081.86 .C73 2015
Publication date: 2015-09-11
Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and ScienceAffordable education. Transparent science. Accessible scholarship.
These ideals are slowly becoming a reality thanks to the open education, open science, and open access movements. Running separate—if parallel—courses, they all share a philosophy of equity, progress, and justice. This book shares the stories, motives, insights, and practical tips from global leaders in the open movement.
This book is freely released under a CC-BY 4.0 license.
Piwowar H, Priem J, Larivière V, Alperin JP, Matthias L, Norlander B, Farley A, West J, Haustein S. 2018. The state of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ 6:e4375 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4375
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