University Library DePaul Library

Open Access

"[Open Access] increases a work’s visibility, retrievability, audience, usage, and citations, which all convert to career building. For publishing scholars, it would be a bargain even if it were costly, difficult, and time-consuming. But…it’s not costly, not difficult, and not time-consuming.’’

Peter Suber, Open Access, 2013

In 2002, open access was defined by the Budapest Open Access Initiative as the "world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature, completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds." This initiative stated that "only constraint on reproduction and distribution [of open access content], and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited."

Options for making your work openly accessible

Publishing in a journal that is designated as an open access journal. If you publish in a journal that is not designated as open access, you may be able to use grant money, or other funds that you have access to through your place of employment (institution, department, company), to pay a fee to ensure that your article is open access.

If your work is not restricted to a subscription based publication publication, you may consider assigning your work one of the following Creative Commons licenses that vary with respect to the type of rights they provide to the users but, in general, allow others free access and also free sharing of your work provided the work has been properly attributed.

If you received a grant to do your research from a federally funded institution such as NIH, for example, it is mandated that you submit an electronic version of your final, peer-reviewed manuscript to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central  upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. NIH has information about the details of the policy and also an overview about this public access policy.

Resources for open access content include:

  • OpenDOAR, a directory of academic open access repositories.
  • OER Commons, a digital library and network that allows teachers and others to search and discover open educational resources. 
  • Directory of Open Access Journals provides access to quality controlled open access journals. The Directory aims to cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use an appropriate quality control system. It is hosted, maintained and partly funded by Lund University Libraries Head Office.
  • HathiTrust digital library, a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. Currently, this partnerhsip has digitized more than 13 million volumes.
  • Internet Archive was founded to build an Internet library. One of the goals of Internet Archive is to offer permanent access to historical collections that exist in digital format. It now includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages.

For more information on searching and discovering Open Access material and Open Educational Resources please visit our Open Educational Resources LibGuide.