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Open Access Resources: Publishing OA

This guide is a collection of open access (OA) resources benefiting students, faculty, and staff.

FAQ About Publishing OA

Frequently Asked Questions about Open Access Publishing:


Why should I publish my work open access?

  • There are many benefits to publishing open access, including the prospect of gaining more traffic and citations for your work. The Study on Open Access Publishing (SOAP) estimated that open access articles made up between 8-10% of the global scientific input, and that some have reached such high levels of quality that they possess impact factors within the top 1-2% of their disciplines. It is a myth that publishing open access means "settling" for a lower-quality paper which undermines the peer-review process. Almost 90% of scientists believe open access is beneficial for their field.

If I publish OA, will I be able to submit it elsewhere?

  • You will be able to post the original manuscript or unfinished article elsewhere, but not the final published article. Open access or subscription-based, every journal has its own rules about copyright retention of its authors.
    • From Myths About Open Access: "Many open access journals do allow you to retain your copyright, but not all. Some have you sign over the copyright to the journal, just like traditional journals. When complying with the NIH Public Access Policy, at a minimum you are only retaining enough rights to post the final peer-reviewed manuscript on PMC, you are not retaining rights to post the final peer reviewed manuscript or the publisher PDF anywhere. The same is true with many self-archiving policies of publishers. They are often only allowing you to retain enough rights that you may post the final peer-reviewed manuscript on your website or in an institutional repository. In most cases, greater copyright retention rights will need to be negotiated with the publisher if you want the freedom to do more."

Are there any negatives to publishing OA?

  • Publishing open access means taking away the paywall for readers (and subsequently increasing universal access to scholarly writing), but journals still need financial support to sustain their business - so that usually comes in the form of article processing fees or submission fees. While not every journal will charge a fee, many do and the fee is usually a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Often, research funding or the author's department/university will handle this fee.
    • From Myths About Open Access: "About one-third of open-access journals charge publication fees (compared to three-fourths of conventional journals). Publishing in Open Access venues doesn't mean having to pay money. For example, if you self-archive your article rather than publish in an open access journal, there should not be publication fees, although it is typically the final peer reviewed manuscript, not the publisher PDF, that is archived. As mentioned, there may be a fee to publish OA journals. However, journals that really want your publication should be able to waive or decrease the cost of publishing an article if the author is unable to afford it. In addition, some open access journals are finding alternative ways to publish the journal such as grant funding, sponsors, and membership dues."

Tips & Advice

Publishing OA In The News