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Open Access and Scholarly Communication

Information about Open Access publishing, vetting journals, finding funding, and more.

Welcome to the Open Access Guide

The goal of the global Open Access movement is to use the Internet to provide free access to human knowledge and the digital tools used to advance it.

In this guide you will find information about the basics of Open Access and the many areas of the movement, such as Open Science and Open Data. This guide also contains information which can help you navigate the current scholarly communications landscape. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please email Prof. Chris Barnes, Digital Publishing Librarian.

What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) is scholarly research that can be accessed online and read for free. It has less restrictive copyright and licensing than traditionally published research so that it can be more freely shared and reused.

In traditional publishing, journal publishers generate revenue by charging libraries and individuals subscription fees.  An article’s copyright is usually transferred to the publisher from the author, and the publisher controls all rights to the use of the article. The people who can read an article are those who can afford a subscription or have access to a library with a subscription.

OA publishing is funded by many different kinds of business models, and they correspond with the categories and colors listed below. Many OA journals do not charge readers or authors (diamond), while others require authors to pay an article processing charge or APC (gold). In both cases, the authors maintain their copyright and the work can be redistributed, shared, and freely accessed.

If a journal does not offer a path to OA, authors can negotiate permission to publish a manuscript version of the work online so that everyone can have access to the content even if they cannot afford the price of accessing the article in its final form (version of record). Through this form of OA publishing (green), institutional repositories like Adelphi's Scholarly Works play a crucial role in disseminating scholarly content free of charge.

Lindsay Ellis's "A Turning Point for Scholarly Publishing" (2019) in The Chronicle of Higher Education provides a concise introduction to the movement and its impact on scholarly communications.

If you are an Adelphi faculty member and want to publish in a fully open (gold) journal that charges a fee, check the tab on this guide for Adelphi Assistance for information on how the Provost's office can help cover that charge.

Benefits of Open Access

Paths to Open Access

Diamond OA publishing does not involve a charge for the author or the reader. Human resources and operating costs are provided by nonprofit organizations, such universities and scholarly societies, which have become publishers, as well as charitable organizations, like the Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, which fund initiatives aimed at expanding free access to knowledge. A study of diamond OA publishing was released in 2021 and an action plan based on it was released in March of 2022.

Gold OA publishing makes content freely available to all upon publication, but authors are charged an article processing charge or APC. Examples of Gold OA include PLOS (Public Library of Science) and BioMed Central.

Hybrid OA publishing refers to a subscription journal which includes openly accessible articles alongside others still locked behind a paywall. In this model, the publisher offers authors the option of publishing their individual articles OA if they pay an APC. An example of author's pages for hybrid open access is Online Open by Wiley.

Green OA publishing is the self-archiving of pre-publication manuscripts for free public access. If permitted by the terms of their publication agreement, authors can deposit preprints or the author's accepted manuscript (AAM) -  the version of an article after peer review and before being formatted and proofed by the publisher - in an institutional repository, personal website, or elsewhere on the internet. For more information about this form of OA publishing, see the Rights Retention Strategy page of the Coalition S website.