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Open Access Publishing and Scholarly Communication: General Open Access Information

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 2023

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that provides public domain tools and licenses to people or organizations that need free, simple, and standardized ways to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works; that ensure proper attribution; and allow others to copy, distribute, and make use of these works.  -Creative Commons

Types of Open Access (OA)

  • Bronze - articles published as OA are typically free to read online but do not have a license.  The articles are normally not available to download, reuse, or share.
  • Hybrid OA – an article is published in a subscription journal but the publisher charges the author an article processing charge (APC) to make individual articles open access in the subscribed journal. The individual article in the journal issue is OA but other articles in the same issue may not be OA.  This model is different from a Gold OA journal because a subscription holder is still paying for a subscription to the journal even though the author is paying an APC to the publisher to publish the article as OA.
  • Green – articles published under are self-archived and are typically either the pre or post-prints in institutional repositories.
  • Gold OA – all articles in a journal are published as OA, are freely accessible to anyone on the journal's website, and are authorized by a creative commons license.  Publishing costs are usually paid for by an article processing charge (APC) which is normally paid by the author or through another funding mechanism.
  • Diamond or Platinum - an author is not charged an APC to publish their article in an OA journal. Articles in these journals are typically funded by institutions, advertisers, philanthropists, or similar funding organizations. All articles are typically use a creative commons license and are free to read, download, share, and reuse by anyone.

Celebrate International Open Access Week at UWSP

Video about Open Access

This short video by Nick Shockey (of SPARC), Jonathan Eisen (professor at UC Davis) and Jorge Cham (of PhD Comics) gives an overview of the history of scholarly publishing.

OER Search Tools

What is Scholarly Communication?

"Scholarly communication is the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use. The system includes both formal means of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal channels, such as electronic listservs."

More on "Scholarly Communication in Crisis" (source: Association of College & Research Libraries)


Highlighted Books