Editor’s Note: Today we are pleased to bring you the following post from guest blogger, Sarah Norris, Scholarly Communications Librarian at UCF. Sarah is the University Libraries’ resident expert in all things related to scholarly communication and open access outreach efforts. You can find out more about Sarah, including her contact information, on the UCF Libraries page.
The 9th Annual International Open Access Week will take place October 24-30, 2016. But what is Open Access? How does it apply to you? In this post, we will look at what Open Access is and how you can advocate for Open Access publishing options as authors and use Open Access materials as researchers.
What is Open Access?
Open Access (OA) is free and unrestricted access to research online, including journals articles, books and book chapters, and even data. Currently, there are two forms of Open Access: Green and Gold OA.
- Green OA: Green open access refers to self-archiving of published research. This means that researchers are able to archive legally acceptable versions of previously published work(s) on online faculty profiles, like Academia.edu and ResearchGate, on personal websites, or in an institutional repository, such as UCF’s repository called STARS.
- Gold OA: Gold Open Access allows works to be published and disseminated immediately in an Open Access journal or book without lengthy delays (also known as embargoes) or other publishing restrictions. In essence, it is the “gold standard” for Open Access publishing and for making one’s research openly accessible.
Finding Open Access Materials
Looking for Open Access journal articles to use for your research? Here are a list of directories and journals that you may find useful for your research needs.
- BioMed Central: http://www.biomedcentral.com/
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): https://doaj.org/
- Medical Student Press*: http://www.themspress.org/
- Public Library of Science (PLOS): https://www.plos.org/open-access/
*Online Open Access Medical Publishing Group co-founded by Gabriel Glaun, a member of the College of Medicine’s class of 2017.
Publishing in Open Access Journals
Publishing in Open Access journals offer many benefits to both the reader and author/researcher. Not only does Open Access provide greater access to your research, which may increase the impact of your work, but it also helps those with Open Access data and/or grant funding requirements ensure compliance. Many Open Access journals are peer-reviewed and go through the same rigorous editorial processes as traditional subscription-based publications.
However, it is important to note that there are many predatory Open Access publications. These publications often pose as legitimate journals, and it can, in some cases, be difficult to determine if a journal is predatory or not. The following are resources that you can check to determine a journal’s predatory status:
- Beall’s List: https://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/
- Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE): http://publicationethics.org/
- Directory of Open Access Journals: https://doaj.org/
- Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association: http://oaspa.org/
- ThinkCheckSubmit: http://thinkchecksubmit.org/
Open Access publishing is a beneficial publishing model for both researchers and authors alike. If you are considering Open Access publishing or for more information about Open Access, please contact the Library for more information.