What is scholarly communication?
"By scholarly communication we mean the study of how scholars in any field (e.g., physical, biological, social, and behavioural sciences, humanities, technology) use and disseminate information through formal and informal channels. The study of scholarly communication includes the growth of scholarly information, the relationships among research areas and disciplines, the information needs and uses of individual user groups, and the relationships among formal and informal methods of communication" (p. 13-14).
Borgman, Christine L. 1990. In: Borgman, C.L., ed. Scholarly Communication and Bibliometrics. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, pp. 10-27.
Open access is a form of scholarly communication that provides free, unrestricted access to information.
Does open access mean that an article hasn't undergone peer review?
No. Open access is independent of peer review. Many open access journals include peer review in their editorial process.
What are the benefits of publishing my work open access?
Studies have shown that when your work is freely accessible and not behind a paywall, it is more likely to be cited. Your work is more easily discovered and shared, and thus more likely to make an impact. There are also social justice arguments for open access. People beyond the academy -- the public -- can benefit from freely available knowledge. Taypayers who fund research can access its results. Libraries can pay for other resources and services with money saved by cancelling excessively high-cost subscription journals. Fully open access journals mean that authors retain the copyright to their work. (In other cases, faculty may still exercise their author's rights, such as in the form of an author addendum to a copyright transfer agreement.)
How can I make my work openly accessible?
There are different avenues to open access.
To discover open access journals in which to publish, browse the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). You can also consult Ulrich's Periodical Directory and Journal Citation Reports, electronic resources available via Copley Library.
What is a fully open access journal?
A fully open access journal is one in which all articles are published open access. There are no APCs to pay.
What is a hybrid journal?
A hybrid journal is a subscription journal that offers authors the option to make their work openly accessible through the payment of an APC.
What is an APC?
APC stands for "article processing charge." It refers to the fee that some journals charge to make an article openly accessible. APCs range in cost and generally range from $1000 - $5000. An APC may also be called a "publication fee" and may be paid by funders, universities, or authors.
How can I assess the quality of an open access journal?
Boston College University Libraries has assembled an evaluation checklist of useful criteria.
What are predatory publishers?
Predatory publishers and predatory journals are a fraudulent operation; they charge authors fees for services they don't deliver, such as peer review. Check out this blog post for a discussion of predatory publishers and how to protect yourself as an author.
If I've already published my work in a journal, can I make it openly accessible in Digital USD?
You may be able to deposit a version (such as a pre-print or post-print / final accepted manuscript) of your article in Digital USD, depending on the policies of the publisher. SHERPA/RoMEO provides information about many publishers' policies and their stipulations.
How can editors and publishers transition a traditional journal to an open access model?
Transitioning Journals to OA: This page contains an expanding number of resources created by the University of California's Office of Scholarly Communication to support journal editors and publishers and the organizations or libraries that work with them. The resources can be used as a toolkit to facilitate the OA transitioning process.
What is a pre-print? What is a post-print?
In many cases, a publisher allows a pre-print or post-print to be deposited into an open access institutional repository.
What is an embargo?
An embargo is a period of time when access to a publication is restricted. Some publishers specify an embargo period, such as 12 or 18 months, before allowing an article to be made available in an open access institutional repository. SHERPA/RoMEO includes information about publishers' embargoes.
Where can I find open access articles, journals, and other materials?
There are many places where you can find and use open access resources. Here is a selection; for additional resources, please contact Amanda Makula, Digital Initiatives Librarian.
What is an open access policy?
Some colleges and universities have adopted institutional open access policies in which the faculty grant the institution permission to make their scholarly articles openly accessible in an institutional repository. To see a list of institutions that have adopted an open access policy, and the policies themselves, please visit the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI) page.
What are open access mandates?
Open access mandates are requirements by funders, institutions, and/or governments to make research and scholarship available open access. Examples include the National Science Foundation's public access plan and the United Kingdom's Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Research Excellence Framework (REF) open access requirement.
The Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP) is a searchable international registry charting the growth of open access mandates and policies adopted by universities, research institutions and research funders that require or request their researchers to provide open access to their peer-reviewed research article output by depositing it in an open access repository.