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Open Access   Tags: oa, open access  

Information about Open Access (OA) publishing
Last Updated: Sep 26, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is "open access?"

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. (SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)

Open Access is a form of access. It is not the same as mandates from federal funders, such as the NIH Public Access Policy, although publishing in an open access venue could satisfy funder requirements. Research funded by entities without a public access requirement could appear in Open Access publications, too. Also, not all large archives of articles are entirely "open access." Most of the articles in PubMed Central, for instance, are not "open access."


    Why should I care?

    The traditional model of scholarly publishing (authoring a manuscript, having it accepted by peer review, transferring copyright to a publisher, and eventually seeing a printed journal article) is eroding, for a variety of reasons, such as:

    • It is not always timely. Months can pass before the final version of a manuscript appears.
    • It is difficult to control expenses. For-profit publishers are not required to disclose their financial investment in the publishing process. Most libraries (including LSU Health Shreveport Health Sciences Library) are contractually prohibited from disclosing the exact cost of their subscriptons to the public, although since 1986 the cost of most subscription packages has outpaced annual inflation by 4 times (Suber 2013).
    • The costs of publishing in traditional prestigious journals may be more than a researcher's budget can bear, and funding authorities are increasingly requiring prompt publication of research results in an effort to improve transparency to taxpayers (Van Noorden 2013).

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