“Open access is, simply, the idea that research articles should be freely, immediately and permanently available online to anyone, rather than locked away in subscription journals as many currently are.” Zoe Corbyn, THES, 12 November 2009.
An excellent overview of open access is provided by Peter Suber.
Pathways to Open Access Publishing
There are a number of ways in which open access (OA) can be achieved. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. This can lead to misunderstandings and unjustified concerns.
A brief guide to the Open Access rainbow
Green Open Access - is where a research article, which has been accepted for publication in a scholarly journal, is freely available online to readers because the author has archived a full-text version of the article to an institutional repository (e.g. QUT ePrints) or subject repository (e.g. ArXiv or RePEc).
Gold Open Access – is where the publisher of a scholarly journal provides free online access to the full content of the journal. Business models for this form of OA vary. In some cases, the publisher charges the author (or the author’s institutionor the funding body) an article processing fee (e.g. PLoS). In some cases, the costs are covered by direct and indirect subsidies from institutions and scholarly societies. A different form of gold open access is where the whole content of a journal is freely available online after a specific period of time (delayed open access).
Hybrid Open Access – generally refers to immediate open access to individual papers in subscription-based journals where the author (or the author’s institution) has paid a fee to have their article made freely available online. Institutions also pay to subscribe to the journal. Some institutions consider this business model to be ‘double-dipping’ from the limited pool of money available for scholarly communication
Currently, all three forms of open access co-exist. ‘Gold’ OA, which delivers free online access to the definitive version of research articles, is considered by many to be the ultimate objective. However, until there are high-status open access journals in all fields, this route cannot deliver 100% coverage of the literature. Many publishers are transitioning to new business models that include free access to readers. In the meantime, the ‘Green’ route to open access is a viable option for delivering open access without constraining the author’s choice of where to publish. The whole area of scholarly communication is being transformed by evolving technologies. Institutional repositories support ‘Green’ open access archiving and exert a pressure on publishers to consider options which allow for wider access.
Publish in Open Access
Open Access has many advantages - for the researcher it provides increased visibility of their publications.
DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals - all scientific and scholary subjects are covered. For a journal to be included it should exercise quality control on submitted papers through an editor, editorial board and/or a peer-review system. Over 120 journals included from Australia.
The process of submitting work to an Open Access journal is virtually the same as for traditional subscription journals.
Some Open Access journals are published by universities that subsidise the operation eg. Portal: Journal of Multidisciplinary and International Studies.
Open Access does not deprive copyright holders of any rights as Copyright laws still apply. Open Access relies on the consent of copyright holders to share their work and generally authors retain copyright. For example, articles published by BioMedCentral, PLoS and Hindawi are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence. This allows anyone to download, reuse, reprint, distribute or copy articles from BioMed Central and PLoS journals, providing the original author and source are credited.
Contact UNE's Copyright Officer Berenice Scott (6773 3227) for further information.
UNE Open Access Guide
Visit the UNE Open Access Guide.
Open Access Library - OALib
Open Access Library (OALib) is a library of 263,388 English journal articles, mostly from prestigious publishers, and all available for free download with no need of registration or logging-in. The collection covers research topics in an expansive array of academic disciplines, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, biology, material science, medical science, social sciences, and humanities.
OA Impact Factors
The Impact Factor of Open Access journals.
A Dutch National website providing information for academics about the advantages of Open Access to publicly financed research.
Journal Information Databases
Ulrichsweb is a directory that provides detailed, comprehensive, and authoritative information on journals. Useful to find out in which database a journal is indexed to determine its coverage. Also the place to go to quickly determine if a journal is refereed.
Limit your search to Open Access journals only:
Select Advanced Search>More limiters>in Key Features>Open Access.