Landman Library

Open Access

What is Open Access?

Peter Suber, the person who wrote the book on Open Access, provides this definition:
Open Access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. OA is compatible with copyright, peer review, revenue (even profit), print, preservation, prestige, quality, career-advancement, indexing, and other features and supportive services associated with conventional scholarly literature.

Peter Suber, "Open Access Overview," 2004 (revised 2013)

Forms of Open Access

  • Green Open Access refers to “self-archiving” research on a personal website or profile.
  • Gold Open Access refers to scholarship published in an Open Access scholarly journal.
  • Open Archives refers to scholarly content in subscription publications made available free of charge after an initial embargo period.
  • Open Repositories are digital collections of scholarly content on a particular subject or the collected intellectual works of an institution or group of institutions.

Reasons for Publishing Open Access

  • Broader readership and exposure
  • Greater impact of research and higher citation counts
  • Countless digital publishing options
  • More access to tax-payer funded research
  • More public access to knowledge and information, because it is a public good

What Authors Can Do

  • Retain permissions to your scholarship and intellectual property
  • Publish your work in an open access journal
  • Deposit your work in an open access institutional repository
  • Advocate for open access policies at your institution and with your publishers
  • Keep current with developments in open access and scholarly communication


General information about Open Access; professional organizations; select institutional guides.

Open Access Overview. Peter Suber's introduction to open access. Suber is a philosopher specializing in the philosophy of law and open access to knowledge. 

Open Access Week. An annual global event organized to raise awareness and support open access. 

Sherpa/Juliet. Look up your funders' open access policies.

OASIS – Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook. OASIS aims to provide an authoritative ‘sourcebook’ on Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving it. 

Scholarly Open Access. Critical analysis of scholarly open access publishing.

OASPA Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. The mission of OASPA is to support and represent the interests of Open Access journal and book publishers globally in all scientific, technical, and scholarly disciplines.

R2RC Right to Research Coalition. R2RC is an international graduate student coalition committed to open access to student research and scholarship. 

Kansas University – Open Access

University of Washington – Scholarly Publishing & Open Access Issues