Open access (OA) refers to freely available, digital, online information. Open access scholarly literature is free of charge and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, for both authors and users. Users of open access publications are free to read, download, copy, print, distribute, search, link to the full texts of these publications, or use them for any other lawful purpose.
Open access scholarly publications include both journal articles and books, as well as other text and non-text based publications.
While OA is a newer form of scholarly publishing, many OA publications are peer-reviewed and maintain high publishing standards. All OA publications should be evaluated in the same manner as publications published under the traditional academic publishing model.
Open Access publishing is based on the principle of providing public access to publicly funded research and this publishing model may provide significant benefits to the community, as well as to you and your research.
There are two models of open access (OA) publishing:
Compare publishing models:
|Model provides||Traditional||Gold OA||Green OA|
|Free access for reader?||No||Yes||Yes|
|Access to published version?||No||Yes||Varies - usually no|
|No fees for author?||Yes||Varies||Yes|
Gold OA model - the final peer-reviewed or published version of the journal article is freely available from publisher’s website.
Gold OA journals may be:
1. Fully OA - Articles are published in an OA journal and accessible online immediately. There are two types of fully OA journals:
2. Hybrid - The author pays for an article to be openly accessible within a subscription journal - publisher receives both subscriptions and OA fees
3. Delayed OA - The journal article is initially accessible only to journal subscribers. After a specified embargo period, the article can be accessed free of charge
Green OA model - the author publishes their article in the journal of their choice, and then deposits a version of the work in either an institutional or subject repository, making it freely available - the version which can be deposited is specified by the publisher. This model makes your research more discoverable, you don't have to pay article processing charges and you can still publish in the 'best' journal for your research.
Gold OA - Usually the approach used by institution, university or library presses: The publisher charges a publication or processing charge which allows the book to be made OA. The author may pay this fee or it may be paid by a funding grant.
Hybrid model - Often used by OA book publishers: The publisher provides free access to the OA editions and offers other digital editions or additional material for sale.
Green OA - Rarely used: It allows a version of the book to be made open access, with the cost recovered from later printed editions.
Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) - supports open access to all the outputs of scholarship in Australia and New Zealand.
Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) - supports open access (OA) journal and book member publishers globally in all scientific, technical, and scholarly disciplines; membership of the Association is retricted to publishers who demonstrate ethical standards.
SPARC* - a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education.
Open Access Explained - a video by Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics).
Contributing to the Murdoch Research Repository - welcomes contributions from staff and research students of Murdoch University and its associated bodies.
Optimize Your Publishing, Maximize Your Impact - an Open publishing guide for young researchers by the Right To Research Coalition.
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - an independent online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
Common Myths about Open Access...Busted! - from BioMed Central.