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Open Access Publishing

Guide adapted from Tulane University Libraries:

Workshop outline

1. Open access overview

2. Creative commons licensing

3. Locating open access resources

4. Open access and "predatory publishers"

5. WMU transformative agreements

What is OA?

What is Open Access

Open access is free, unrestricted access to high-quality research materials. Information is shared freely and free of charge by or to authors. Authors maintain copyright. Information is not found behind paywalls and typically free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

“By open access [OA], we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, printsearch or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software or use them for any other lawful purpose…”. 

Budapest Open Access Initiative – Feb 14, 2002,

In other words- royalty-free literature. Research that is available for free to the public in a way that is compatible and in compliance with peer-review, copyright, revenue, preservation, prestige, quality, career development, discovery and other factors no different than regular scholarly publication. The primary difference is that the bills are not paid for by readers and hence do not function as access barriers.

Open access Factsheet from SPARC


Open Access Explained

Select Benefits of OA

  • Provides readers with quicker, more direct access to research results
  • Research is equally accessible to all academics, not just those at the richest institutions
  • Researchers in low and middle-income countries will be able to keep up-to-date and be competitive with world-class research
  • Universities can't teach what they can't access. This gives everyone an educational leg-up
  • Increased visibility, impact, and citations - Increased access is positively correlated with the number of citations and an author’s impact
  • Ability to retain copyright of your work so can make it available via different routes and avenues. 
  • Available for data and text mining so researchers can find new purposes and directions for your work. 
  • Global reach - Improve knowledge circulation for everyone!
  • Accelerates the pace of research, discovery and innovation

Key Players in OA

Creative Commons License