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Open Access Publishing

Defining Open Access

What is Open Access (OA)?

     Open Access means that information is:

  • freely available.
  • published digitally online.
  • has few restrictions on its use or reproduction.

What are the origins of the OA movement?

  • The Open Access movement is the result of a recent scholarly communication crisis, where the pricing model of academic journals became unsustainable for many educational institutions. 
  • That crisis, combined with the low cost of online publishing and distribution, led to a dramatic increase in open access publications.

How does OA publishing work?   

     Work can be made available open access in several ways. An author can:

  • Self-Archive a copy of their work in a subject or institutional repository (Green Open Access). The Jefferson Digital Commons (JDC) is Jefferson's institutional repository.
  • Publish in a fully open access journal  (Gold Open Access). These journals are not subscription-based, but instead, get financial support by asking authors to pay Article Processing Charges (APC), or are funded by scholarly associations or institutional funds. Jefferson, along with many other universities, has an Open Access Fund that has been set aside to support faculty who choose to publish in these journals.
  • Publish in a Hybrid open access journal. These journals operate using a subscription-based model but do give authors an option to choose to pay an APC to make their work available open access.

     Authors can also negotiate with journal publishers using an author copyright addendum to try to retain more rights to make their work openly accessible through self-archiving,

Who Benefits from OA publication?

  • Faculty: increased visibility and availability of work can lead to it having a greater impact.
  • Students/Teachers: increased access to more information can enhance learning, especially in developing nations.
  • Libraries: increased access to information for patrons, for less money than the subscription journal model costs.
  • Universities: greater visibility of research outputs.
  • General Public: greater access to information, especially to the results of publicly funded research.

How does this impact my grant-funded research?

In addition to giving researchers increased access to information, and making a researcher's own work more accessible, many funding bodies, such as the National Institutions of Health (NIH), require that the works produced using their funds be made accessible to the publicJefferson libraries provide researchers support with NIH public access policy compliance.

Learn More

Learn more about Open Access by watching this brief video, or exploring the association websites listed below.

Outreach Organizations

Below are links to two of the major advocacy groups that support the open access movement.