One of the most significant initiatives aimed at addressing the crisis in scholarly communication is the open access movement. If an article is “Open Access” it means that it can be freely accessed through the Internet. The potential readership of open access articles is far greater than that of articles published in subscription-based journals. Open access does not affect peer-review; articles are peer-reviewed and published in journals in the normal way.
Scholars around the world have started open access publishing initiatives that provide free access to their content. Open access journals are usually peer-reviewed. The Directory of Open Access Journals lists scholarly journals in which you might want to publish. Use the Field Guide to Predatory Publishers to help assess if an open access journal is a good place to publish your work.
Take advantage of article processing charge (APC) discounts from Tufts Open Access Journal Memberships.
Does open access affect citation impact? Here are some articles keeping track.
- Discipline-specific repositories: Many disciplines now have repositories in which scholars can deposit their materials, including preprints, datasets, and previously published journal articles. OpenDOAR is a directory of repositories around the world.
- NIH-funded research: If your research is funded by NIH, you are required to deposit your publications in PubMed Central.
- Institutional repositories: create open access to your work and deposit your research in the Tufts Digital Library, so that it can be openly accessed.
Retain permissions to your materials
Authors own the copyright to their works until they sign copyright over to a publisher. This is why authors may archive their preprints, but must ask permission for the deposit of published articles in a repository. In order to avoid this scenario, Tufts University strongly recommends that authors retain copyright rights as part of their publication agreement. Without such rights, authors may not be able to distribute copies of their own papers in their classes, post their own papers to a course site, or deposit them in a repository. We suggest that authors use the Tufts-approved Amendment to Publication Agreement.
The Tufts OpenCourseWare (OCW) project is a Web-based publication of educational material from a number of Tufts University courses, providing open sharing of free searchable high quality course content to educators, students, and self-learners throughout the global community.
The content is licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 license terms of Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike, which protects the copyright holder’s works while encouraging certain uses of the works such as reuse and the creation of derivative works. (Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright — all rights reserved — and the public domain — no rights reserved. Licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work — a “some rights reserved” copyright.)
Tufts OCW does not require any registration. It is not a degree-granting or certificate-granting program.
Keep up with developments in the open access movement
- Peter Suber, Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication
- SPARC Open Access Newsletter – while no longer active, the newsletter provides context and analysis of the open access movement.
- Create Change – advocacy and education campaign cosponsored with the Association of Research Libraries and the Association of College and Research Libraries to engage the academic community in reclaiming scholarly communication.
- The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), is an alliance of universities, research libraries, and organizations built as a constructive response to market dysfunctions in the scholarly communication system.