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Open Access

A guide to open access; understanding what it is, why it's important, and what you can do.

Understanding Green Open Access

Green open access involves making work, often a version of a published article, openly available through a repository. A variety of platforms are available, including disciplinary repositories (e.g.ArXiv, PubMed Central) and institutional repositories hosted by a university or organization. The benefit of green open access for researchers is the avoidance of costs that may otherwise accompany the gold open access model. Challenges associated with green open access involve the ability of the author to retain the necessary copyright permissions to share their work, publisher restrictions regarding the version of the article (pre-print or post-print) that can be shared, and the perpetuation of traditional publishing models. Here are some options for identifying online repositories:

Created by the Australian Open Access Strategy Group, this comparison illustrates the distinctions between traditional and green open access publishing and identifies the advantages and limitations of each (click on image to expand).

Retaining Your Rights

For authors to archive their work in a repository they must retain the appropriate copyright permissions. Authors publishing in traditional journals often relinquish their rights to control the dissemination of and access to their work. Many publishers already have established policies permitting authors to archive their work as a part of their standard publishing agreement. Authors may consult SHERPA/RoMEO to determine a publisher's standard policy for self-archiving. 

For more information regarding author's rights, see Copyright for Authors.

Repositories - Discipline and Institutional

Disciplinary Repositories

Discipline or subject repositories are online archives designed to preserve, organize, and disseminate research either centered on a single discipline (e.g biology or physics) or multi-disciplinary (e.g. life sciences or humanities). Material is deposited by researchers throughout the world to be freely accessible with limited restrictions. For a more complete list of multidisciplinary databases, view the Open Access Resources Library Guide

Institutional Repository

Institutional repositories are digital collections managed by a university or research organization. Institutional repositories serve a variety of valuable roles, including supporting open access through collecting and sharing an institution's scholarly output. ASU's Digital Repository supports open access and the university's scholars, allowing for the discovery of the creative and scholarly output of ASU.  For a more complete list of academic institutional repositories, consult the Open Access Resources library guide.

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