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Open Access

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So, you're ready to make your work Open Access, what is the next step?

These are some practical steps you can take to make your work Open Access or to contribute to the Open Access movement generally.

1. Submit your work to an Open Access journal or publisher.

Check out the Directory of Open Access Journals to look for established Open Access Journals or look at the Journal section of this research guide.


2. Deposit your pre-prints to an Open Access repository

Many disciplines have well-established repositories for archiving research, such as arXiv (for physics and mathematics), SSRN (for Social Sciences) and PubMed (for biomedical and life sciences).

Open DOAR is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. You can use this database to find trusted repositories in your subject area.

Go Green

3. Deposit your post-prints in an online repository

Publishing in non-Open Access journals does not foreclose the possibility of providing Open Access to your work - far from it!

If you have already transferred copyright, archiving a post-print version of your work requires permission from the journal publisher. However, many journals - 74% - already allow post-print archiving.

Use Sherpa/Romeo to search for the copyright and archiving policies of academic journals.


4. Maintain your author rights

When you enter into an agreement with a publisher and sign a copyright transfer form, you can decide which rights you want to keep and which you want to give away.

For more information about authors' rights check out this pamphlet from SPARC

The Copyright Addendum Tool from Creative Commons allows authors to generate a PDF that can be attached to a publishers copyright agreement to ensure authors retain certain rights over their work.

SPARC Author Addendum

5. Referee an Open Access Paper

Accept invitations to referee papers or serve on the editorial board of Open Acess journals. Ask journals where you have some influence (as editor, reviewer, author etc) to do more to support Open Access.

Peer review

6. Advocate for Open Access

Volunteer to serve on your university's committee to evaluate faculty for promotion and tenure. Make sure the committee is using criteria that, at the very least, do not penalize faculty for publishing in peer-reviewed OA journals. At best, adjust the criteria to give faculty an incentive to provide OA to their peer-reviewed research articles and preprints, either through OA journals or OA archives. Work with your administration to adopt university-wide policies that promote OA.

OA Protest

7. Educate Student Researchers

Make sure that your students understand their self-interest in OA. Make sure they understand that OA increases the impact of research articles. Or, at a minimum, don't let myths about OA circulate without challenge. When you meet students, colleagues, or administrators who are curious and want to know more, or who misunderstand and need some facts, direct them to this guide.

The Right To Research Coalition is a student-led organization promoting open scholarly publishing to ensure all students have access to research regardless of their institutions financial means.

Right to Research Coalition