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Open Access Publishing

An introduction to Open Access publishing and the services provided by RIT Libraries

Open Access Defined

What is Open Access Publishing? 

The Open Access movement is an international movement that promotes the idea that the products of academic research should be freely available. It's part of the larger "Open" movement, that includes Open Science, Open Data, Open Source, among other areas.

When you author a paper, you are the copyright owner of that work. This means you have these exclusive rights: 

  • Reproduce the work
  • Prepare derivatives (adaptations, translations, etc.)
  • Distribute by sale or transfer of ownership
  • Perform the work publicly
  • Display the work publicly
  • Perform via digital audio transmission (sound recordings)

Often, traditional publishers require authors to transfer their copyright over. This means that you are no longer able to freely reproduce and distribute your work, unless explicit permission is given by the publisher. Typically, publishing agreements will allow authors to share their work in the classroom or in response to direct requests, but not to post them online on a website or repository. 

Open Access articles are able to be freely access, shared, and reused. There are varying levels of accessibility within the Open Access umbrella, though some argue that re-usability should be essential for something to be considered truly "Open". 

Types of OA

Open Access publishing can exists in different forms. Some journals follow the traditional publishing model while making certain articles available open access, while other journals make all of their content available open access. 

Types of Open Access Publishing


Article that are made immediately  freely available--for sharing and as well as reuse. May require authors to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC). 

Journals that do not require an APC are sometimes referred to as Diamond or Platinum Open Access. 

GREEN Sometimes referred to as "self-archiving" - articles that may have a paywall on the final published version, but allow authors to deposit an earlier version of their paper in an institutional repository or on their personal website, or a preprint server. 
BRONZE Articles are made freely available by the publisher however there is no accompanying license outlining re-usability and no guarantee that the publisher will continue to make the article available in perpetuity 

Where to Find Open Access Content

  • Open Access Repositories

Open Access repositories are databases of open access content, usually articles or conference presentations. Some are institutionally based, such as RIT Scholar Works, which contains scholarly works produced by the RIT community. There are also subject based repositories, that contain work within a specific disciplines. These also include pre-print servers, such as arXiv (physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics) or medRxiv (health sciences). 

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