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.
Browse the The Directory of Open Access Journals, a service that indexes high quality, peer reviewed Open Access research journals to find journals in your field, or use these suggestions for evaluating journals to help assess if an open access journal is a good place to publish your work.
- 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. Without retaining some non-exclusive rights, authors may have to ask permission in order to use their own work in the future, including depositing in repositories. In order to avoid this scenario, Tufts University strongly recommends that authors retain non-exclusive 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. See our Retaining Your Rights as an Author page for strategies to ensure you retain rights to share your work openly.
Join editorial boards/peer review for open access journals
Choose to contribute your time and effort on editorial boards and as a peer reviewer only for journals with equitable and sustainable open access business practices. If you’re already involved in the editorial board of a non-open access journal or one with unsustainable practices, consider declaring your independence and strive to move your journal or create a new one more in line with these values.
Reform research assessment
Advocate for research assessment reform on promotions/tenure committees and grant funding and review processes, so that the intrinsic merit of the work is what is valued, as well as the equity and sustainability of the journal. Help reduce over reliance on high impact factor journals as a proxy for research quality.