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Open Access: Open Access

This is a guide to issues in open access, author rights, copyright, open licensing, and scholarly communication.

Open Access Tracking Project

The Open Access Tracking Project provides real-time alert service for news about open access and other scholarly communication topics. 

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Coordinator of Digital Scholarship & Data and History Liaison

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Jennifer Hootman
I am here to help you with your research! Please email me your questions or call to make an appointment for either an in-person or Zoom consultation.
(859) 218-2284
Subjects: History

What Is Open Access?

"Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.  What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder."  (quoted from A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access by Peter Suber)

The open access movement promotes the practice that scholarly publications are made available online without prohibitively high access costs and stringent copyright and licensing restrictions.  It facilitates quicker and broader dissemination of knowledge by removing the price and permission barriers to research outcomes. 

Open access is compatible with features of traditional publishing such as peer review, journal prestige, and researchers' career advancement.  It also offers many advantages, including:

  • Quicker publishing time
  • Enhanced discoverability through search engines
  • Increased readership
  • Increased citations (see SPARC Europe's list of studies about the citation advantage of open access)
  • Availability of download statistics

These books provide excellent introduction to open access:

The SPARC Weekly

The SPARC Weekly aggregates online news stories and blog posts about scholarly communication. 

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Resources about Open Access Journals

Resources about Open Access Books

Open Access Theses and Dissertations