About Open Access
"Open access" means that scholarly research is made freely available online. The fundamental idea is that publicly financed research should be free to read, download, copy and disseminate. This way, research may be spread faster and more effectively, within the scholarly community as well as to the general public.
One of the strategies in Uppsala University Mission and core values states:
Research results will be made available in open access channels, wherever possible.
The need for open access has grown partly because of the high subscription costs for scholarly journals, and, partly, due to the development of new technologies. The high prices have caused a crisis in the supply of information since many libraries have not been able to afford subscribing to the journals. As a result, researchers have been denied access to important research results.
With the possibility of free dissemination of information via the Internet, open access has become established as an alternative to publishing in traditional academic journals. An increasing number of research funders require funded research results to be published open access.
There are several advantages of open access:
- More people will have access to your research results and, therefore, your research may be used to a greater extent than otherwise
- The citation frequency of your publication may increase
- The time between the acceptance of an article and its publication can be reduced
- When publishing in open access journals, the author retains copyright and may, therefore, make all decisions about the material
- Publicly financed research results should be publicly available
- Freely available books also increase in sales
There are three ways to publish open access: by publishing in open access journals, in open digital archives or in hybrid journals.
Open access journals
Open access journals are freely available, peer-reviewed academic journals with other business models than subscriptions. Articles published in those journals are free to read, download, copy and disseminate and this is known as gold open access. DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) lists open access journals in many different subject areas.
Open archives may contain publications that originate from a particular organization, like Uppsala University's DiVA, or publications from a particular subject area. This is called green open access or self-archiving. Examples of subject archives are arXiv (physics), RePEc (economy), CogPrints (cognitive sciences) and E-LIS (library and information science). OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) lists open archives from all over the world.
Many large subscription-based journals offer authors to have their articles freely available if they pay an author fee. The rest of the journal remains accessible only through subscription.
For a list of publishers with paid open access options, see Sherpa/Romeo.
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