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Open Access Publishing

Intro to Open Access

Open access (OA) is the free online distribution of digital literature. OA removes the barriers caused by subscription and licensing fees in order to promote scholarly growth. OA scholarly literature is free of charge and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, for both the users and the authors. The open access movement is transforming the traditional model of scholarly publishing and challenging established norms for the access, sharing, and re-purposing of knowledge. 

While OA is a newer form of scholarly publishing, many OA journals comply with well-established peer-review processes and maintain high publishing standards. For more information, see Peter Suber's overview of Open Access.

Creative Commons License
Adapted from the Cornell University Library's Open Access Publishing Guide, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Good Open Access Practices

  • The same peer-review process and other quality control (editorial board) as traditional models
  • Unrestricted access to all readers, thus increasing visibility and potential impact of the work
  • Discoverable and accessible to everyone through traditional indexes and search engines such as Google Scholar
  • Copyright remains with the author(s)
  • Conformity with federal law requiring that research conducted using NIH funds and grants from other agencies be made freely available.
  • Increased access to research and higher citations than traditional methods (The OA Citation Advantage - SPARC Europe)

Open Access Resources

Find more about Open Access through the following Web sites:

   • SPARC -- Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
   • PLOS -- The Public Library of Science 
   • OASIS –- Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook
   • OAD -- Open Access Directory  
   • JISC –- Joint Information Systems Committee

Open Access Global Statements

Resource Management Librarian

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Robyn Gleasner
HSLIC Room 323


This Guide is based on "Open Access for Faculty" Guide by Sanjeet Mann, Lua Gregory, Paige K. Mann, Melissa Cardenas-Dow, Shana Higgins, and Janelle Julagay at the University of Redlands & "Open Access" Guide created by  created by Andrea Wirth, Scholarly Communication Librarian, Christina Miskey, Citation & Bibliography Assistant, and David Trillo, Scholarly Communication Library Technician.

Institutional Repositories

Institutional repositories such as the UNM Digital Repository are a fast-growing way to deliver open access content.

Institutional Mandates

Institutional mandates requiring all researchers in a given institution or department to deposit preprints into a local archive are one of the fastest growing methods of promoting open access at institutions around the world.