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Open Access: Home

Introduction to the state of Open Access journal publishing

Types of Open Access Journal Publishing

Fully Open Access Journals

Entire contents of journals available freely online


Open Access Articles

Specific, individual articles within a journal are available for free (while most other articles in that journal require a subscription or fee)


Open Archives

Older content of a a journal is available for free.  Access to current content (usually last 1-2 years) requires a subscription or fee


Posting Articles in Restricted Archives

Articles published in a "normal," subscription journal also posted online in a restricted archive (e.g. a campus institutional repository)

Open Access Books

For More Information

About Open Access   (DOAJ)

Open Access: What Every Researcher Should Know

(University of Illinois Library)

Scholarly Open Access (via Internet Archive)

Archive of a former blog focusing on a "critical analysis of scholary open-access publishing," including a list of predatory publishers. Considered the gold standard by many scholars concerned about predatory publishers, it was the main source of predatory publishers for several years.  Others critiqued its inclusion criteria and a bias against journals outside of the highly developed world (U.S., EU, Canada, Australia, Japan).  It was suddenly taken offline in January 2017.

Open Publishing Ethos

(Including a discussion on Open Peer Review)

Open Access Tracking Project

Discussing/news on developments in OA


Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition


Additional Resources

Why Open Access?

Brief overview from the Public Library of Science (PLoS). 

SPARC blog

Led by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), SPARC is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.

Government Information:  FreeGovInfo

Update (February 2013): A summary of the expanded "free access to government-funded research" policy was released on the FreeGovInfo website.

Fully Open Access Journals

  • Entire contents of journals available freely online
  • Can be produced by commercial publishers or non-profit/research organizations


Non-Commercial Publishers

Pay for publishing costs by charging article authors a publication fee (sometimes covered by institution or research sponsor).

  • Highwire - 71 titles     (includes titles by Oxford, SAGE, & non-profits)

 Commercial Publishers

Pay for publishing costs by charging article authors a publication fee (sometimes covered by institution or research sponsor)

Most major publishers have some fully open access titles.  

  • Elsevier - 27 titles    (mostly medical & physics)
  • SAGE Open - 4 titles      (one general title for each broad area)
  • Springer - 90 titles   (especially scientific journals)
  • Wiley - 11 titles    (mostly medical & chemistry)




Open Access Articles

Authors (or their supporting institution/sponsoring agency) pay a fee to have their article available without a fee on an otherwise subscription-only site.

Most commercial publishers have this option in some/most of their journals.   For example, Elsevier allows this option in 1500 of its 3000 journals, while Wiley and SAGE allow it for most of their titles.

Example of mix of open-access articles within a subscription journal:

Food Security  (2012, Volume 4, Issue 2 has two articles that are Open Access)


Free Access that is Technically not "Open Access" -

Free Articles: Some journals provide free access to selected articles within their subscription publications.

JAMA  (February 15, 2012 issue includes several free articles)

Free Issues:  Many commercial publishers provide free access to single issues within an otherwise subscription-only publication, usually as a teaser to encourage new subscriptions. 

Example:   Asian Journal of Endoscopic Surgery  (All articles from 2012, Volume 5, Issue 1 are free)

Open Archives

Some journals require a subscription for access to current content, but provide free access to older articles (often after 1-2 years).


Stem Cells     (content older than 1 year is freely accessible, back to 1996)

Highwire Free    (most titles provide free access to embargoed/archival content)

Wiley Free Backfiles   (mostly medical titles)

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