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How to make your scholarly work open access





Open access is a movement that encourages making scholarly resources more freely available. We engage and invest in research in order to accelerate the pace of discovery, encourage innovation, enrich education, and stimulate the economy to improve the public good. Communication of the results of research is an essential component to the research process; research can only advance by sharing the results, and the value of an investment in research is only maximized through wide use of its results.

Yet, because of cost barriers or use restrictions (paywalls), research results are not available to the full community of potential users. This has resulted in a call for a new framework to allow research results to be more easily accessed and used — the call for Open Access. (from SPARC: Open Access Fact Sheet)



Further Reading


Gratis : free to read
Libre : free to read plus additional usage rights

Green : author self-archives, usually an author accepted manuscript (AAM) in an institutional or subject repository
Gold : author, institution, or funder pays for publication in OA journal
Bronze: articles available on websites hosted by their publisher — either immediately or following an embargo — but are not formally licensed for reuse.

Note: Many Open Access advocates and research funders would not regard Bronze as truly Open Access because the publisher can stop the publications being freely available at any time, whereas genuinely Open Access publications have a specific license that means the publication is irrevocably Open Access and the terms of use and reuse are clearly stated.

Diamond: texts published/distributed/preserved with no fees to both readers and authors

Note: This is a "publisher-pays" model and is usually offered by university presses where the costs of publication are subsumed within existing budgets and regarded as part of the mission of a university.

Embargo period : time during which access is not allowed to patrons who have not paid or are not otherwise entitled to access

Hybrid journal : includes some gold oa articles; publisher gets subscription fees + article publication charges e.g, "double dipping;"  another problem with OA articles in hybrid journals is that they are sometime hidden or hard to identify as open


  • preprint (before peer review changes)
  • final author accepted manuscript (after peer review changes), final accepted version, postprint
  • final published version; version of record


Attribution: ascribing a work (as of literature or art) to a particular author or artist.

License: a legal instrument that enables the owner/creator to provide permissions to other users to use, under specific terms

Non-Derivative: people may copy and distribute a work but they are not allowed to create “derivative works” or adaptations of the original work (i.e., adapting, remixing, transforming, translating, or updating it, in any way that makes a derivative).

Public Domain: a work of authorship is in the “public domain” if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner