What is Open Access?
Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of scholarly publications. Open Access scholarly publications are freely available as soon as published, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Authors who make their work available as Open Access allow the widest possible audience to read and use it. Without Open Access, this work would otherwise be limited to only those who can afford costly journal subscriptions. Eliminating barriers to readership enables access for everyone to the research they need.
Advantages of Open Access
Open access to the results of published research increases availability and visibility, increases readership (download rates), can increase citation rates, advances knowledge, contributes to the public good, fulfills funder requirements, allows authors to retain rights and maximizes research impact and return on investment.
Open Access Publishing Support @ Research Library
Some publishers charge a fee known as an Article Processing Charge (APC) for open access publication of an article. In support of Open Access publishing for LANL authors, the Research Library offers funding and discounts for the APC through a variety of methods: transformative Open Access agreements with publishers, paid memberships, redirection of subscription fees, in exchange for subscription fees and transition of subscription fees.
Access models - Gold and Green
The most common ways that journal articles or books can be published open access online are Gold Open Access and Green Open Access. Both Gold and Green Open Access journal articles are peer reviewed. There are also essential differences between Gold and Green open access.
Gold Open Access
- Access to version of record
- Immediate access for all
- Reuse rights enabled by CC-BY license
Green Open Access (aka Public Access)
- Access to author's accepted manuscript
- Access delayed by 12 months
- Not accompanied by a reuse license
Publishing models – Full and Hybrid
Open access publishing can be accomplished through multiple journal publication models. One of these is the full open access journal model, where all articles are published open access. Another common publication model is known as the hybrid open access journal model, where only a percentage of articles are published open access.
In a hybrid open access journal, a publisher charges the library a subscription fee for access to a journal. The publisher then requires an author to pay an APC to make their article open access, in addition to the subscription fee the library has already paid. This practice is often referred to as “double dipping”, since publishers are paid twice.
Full Open Access Journals
- Author/institution pays a fee (APC - Article Processing Charge)
- In the pure OA model, the APC is the only fee charged by the publisher
Hybrid Open Access Journals
- Reader/subscriber pays a fee (Subscription fee)
- In the hybrid OA model, the publisher charges the library for a subscription and charges authors an APC.
Important terms in OA
Article Processing Charge (APC) - a fee charged to authors to make an article available as open access. This fee may be paid from various sources: the research funder, the library, Division/Group accounts or scholarly publishers, societies or partnerships.
Read & Publish Agreement - an agreement in which the publisher receives payment for reading (online access) and payment for publishing (APCs) bundled in a single license. This is a type of Transformative Agreement.
Transformative Agreement - an agreement which seeks to shift payment from a library to a publisher away from subscription-based reading/online access and towards open access publishing. Such an agreement brings together payment for online access and payment for open access publishing, often with the goal of being cost-neutral in comparison with a solely subscription-based reading/access agreement.
Additional Helpful Links
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – list of high quality, open access, peer reviewed journals
- Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) – list of scholarly, open access peer reviewed books
- Sherpa Fact – updated information on whether a journal complies with a funder’s open access policies
- Sherpa Romeo – find publisher copyright and open access archiving policies, on a journal-by-journal basis
- Sherpa Juliet – find funders’ policies and requirements on open access, publication and data archiving
- SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) – international organization that works to enable open sharing of resource outputs through collaboration with authors, publishers, libraries, funders, policymakers and the public