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Open Access

Open Access Defined

Open Access is a publishing model that enables the free online availability of journal articles and scholarship, permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these works, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful, noncommercial purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.

The foundations of Open Access were delineated by:

Benefits of Open Access at a Glance

Benefits of Open Access


Open Access publication allows and provides:
  • More exposure for your work
  • Researchers in developing countries can see your work
  • Practitioners can apply your findings
  • Higher citation rates
  • Your research can influence policy
  • The public can access your findings
  • Compliant with grant rules
  • Taxpayers get value for their money

Why Open Access Matters

By reducing barriers to reading, discovery and sharing, Open Access fuels innovation through knowledge transfer. Wider sharing of scientific discoveries and insights accelerates changes, inventions, treatments, and solutions that benefit the world.

Additional resources on the importance of open:

Models of OA Publication

  • Diamond or Platinum OA: Publisher’s version of record (VoR) is openly available immediately
    • Content is released with an open license that allows reuse (e.g., a Creative Commons license)
    • Publisher does not charge Article Processing Charges (APCs)
    • No charge to access; no charge to publish
  • Gold OA: Publisher’s VoR is openly available immediately
    • Content is released with an open license that allows reuse (e.g., a Creative Commons license)
    • Gold OA publication requires payment of an APC making this a “pay to publish” model
  • Green OA: Deposit of version of manuscript in an institutional or disciplinary repository
    • Submission version (aka “pre-print”)
    • Post-peer review version (aka “post-print” or “author’s accepted manuscript”)
    • Green OA publication may be delayed due to publisher’s embargo policies
    • Version may or may not have an open license allowing some types of reuse
  • Bronze OA: Articles made free-to-read on the publisher website, without an explicit Open license
    • Publishers sometimes make journal content publicly accessible on their websites for a limited period of time and then revert to allowing access only through subscription or paid access
    • Article does not include an open license allowing some types of reuse

Please note: Public Access requires that research outputs be made freely accessible for all to read. Public access does not require that outputs be free of copyright or reuse permissions.

Open Science / Open Scholarship

Open Science (or Open Scholarship) is the movement to align research and publication processes with the ideal of advancing collective knowledge and accelerating innovation to benefit all humankind. Open Scholarship makes research outputs and scholarly practices more accessible and inclusive; it emphasizes practices of research, publication, dissemination, and preservation that foster a culture based upon collaboration and sharing.

Learn More

Want to learn more? Here are a few resources that provide more in-depth information about open access:

Guide License

by This guide is licensed under CC BY 4.0