About Open Access
Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results — to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives. — Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).
The open access movement has renovated the landscape of the Internet. Researchers in every country around the world can search journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals, use institutional repositories to find pre- and post-prints of peer-reviewed articles, and access scholarship through several disciplinary portals. Increasing access and experimenting with new publishing models make a significant impact on scholarship and promote faster developments in research throughout the world.
Among the factors hastening our need to rethink publishing models:
- increased reliance on reproduced materials for courses and study;
- the continued development of the free Web as a prime source for research;
- the integration of digital technologies into teaching and research;
- the growth of Web-based data and publications; and
- globalization and the intense need to do collaborative work with colleagues around the world.
The new practices of researchers, scholars, and students are driving many of the changes in the scholarly communication and publishing landscape.
Open-access journals, whose costs are covered through publication fees, sponsorships, in-kind contributions, or other sources of support, are emerging as an alternative to the traditional subscription model. More than 3,900 open-access journals in wide-ranging fields are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.
Open access does not mean giving up peer review. Open-access and economically priced journals recognize and preserve the important role of peer review in scholarly communication.
The Libraries supports open access scholarship, and we welcome your interest and questions.
- Open Access (American Library Association)
- Open Access (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC))
- Open Access (free PDF of 2012 book by Peter Suber)
Free and Open Resources to Support Teaching and Research
SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) defines Open Educational Resources (OERs) as teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OERs can be textbooks, full courses, lesson plans, videos, tests, software, or any other tool, material, or technique that supports access to knowledge.