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ScholarWorks at WMU: Open Access

This is a guide to help people understand and use WMU's scholarly repository.

Open Access Week

Open Access Week 2012University Libraries celebrated International Open Access Week, 2012 with posters and informative flyers in the Waldo Library atrium and a presentation - "Open Access and Scholarly Communication"




Open Access links

Open Access Journals

What is Open Access?

“Open Access” to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.

Open Access (OA) has the potential to maximize research investments, increase the exposure and use of published research, facilitate the ability to conduct research across available literature, and enhance the overall advancement of scholarship. Research funding agencies, academic institutions, researchers and scientists, teachers, students, and members of the general public are supporting a move towards Open Access in increasing numbers every year.

Open Access (OA) is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance. OA literature is not free to produce, even if it is less expensive to produce than conventionally published literature. The question is not whether scholarly literature can be made costless, but whether there are better ways to pay the bills than by charging readers and creating access barriers.

What You Can Do

What Faculty and Universities can do to promote Open Access:

  • Submit research articles to OA journals
  • Deposit preprints of articles in an open-access and OIA compliant archives
  • Work to have policies where the university gives due weight to all peer-reviewed publications, regardless of price or medium
  • Work to have policy where faculty who publish articles must retain copyright, and transfer only the right of first print and electronic publication, or transfer copyright but retain the right of post print archiving
  • More at

Two vehicles for Open Access

OA Journals
Peer-reviewed journals that make their content available free on the Internet. There are 3 types of OA Journals:

  • Born OA: Journals that have made all peer-reviewed articles available online for free reading and redistribution since the beginning of the journal
  • Hybrid OA: Subscription-based journals in which some articles are free, usually because author-side fees have been paid, and others are not free or free only on a delayed basis
  • Turned OA: Journals that began as subscription journals or with other forms of controlled access that have converted to OA

OA Repositories
Often hosted by institutions (WMU hosts ScholarWorks), these repositories do not perform peer-review but rather make various types of content available for free to those with access to the Internet.  These repositories also serve as a permanent archive for material maintaining a static URL and a dark archived copy.

  • Most journals allow authors to make available post-print versions (final peer-reviewed version without publisher formatting) of published journal articles on OA repositories.
  • Most journals are abandoning the “Ingelfinger Rule,” that you cannot publish an article if a preliminary version has been deposited into a repository