Skip to Main Content
We are working to upgrade the research experience by making ongoing improvements to our Research Guides.
You may encounter changes in the look and feel of the Research Guides website along with structural changes to our existing guides. If you have any questions or concerns about this process please let us know.

Open Access

Open Access Defined

Open Access (OA) is defined as the free, immediate, and online availability of research publications (e.g., books, article) or other research outputs (e.g., data).  Supporters of OA state the open and unhindered availability of information will promote further research, encourage new creations, and improve lives.

Why OA?  According to open-access organization SPARC and its affiliates, the OA movement is a response to new ways information is used, its availability, and its means of being distributed. 

  • Digital vs. Print Models of Distribution.  Information, research, and creative works are ever-increasingly available online and in digital formats while fewer are published in print.  People who want to see or use these works face technical, legal or financial barriers to getting them.  The business models used to share this information, created largely by academic/ scholarly publishers, do not consider what technological advances can do to make this information more available.

  • Research Funding and Availability of Information.  The OA movement addresses the equivocal business models used by publishers.  The work of researchers and creators is often funded by institutions and public or private funds. It is then published by academic publishers through journals and other professional publications.  Users then pay the publisher indirectly (through being affiliated with a library or organization with a subscription to a publication) or directly (through paying for an article through a paywall) to read and access the information. 

This business model was increasingly scrutinized during the COVID-19 pandemic.  A lot of the research needed to support new discoveries in response to the pandemic was subscription-based or behind paywalls until some publishers either temporarily lifted these, or made some research tied to COVID-19 openly available during the first year of the pandemic.

  • Promoting Innovation, Ideas, and Research.  The discovery of new knowledge and creation of new ideas is accelerated by having access to information.  The OA movement asserts that great ideas need to be shared to be used by others.  Societal problems can be solved and more benefits can be gained if information is more open, free and available.

Waive Your Open Access Article Processing Charge.  Transformative agreements waive or reduce an article processing charge (APC) to publish.  These agreements between commercial, scholarly publishers and academic entities are increasing.  An author who is affiliated with an institution or system with a transformative agreement can utilize these. 

See "Waive or Reduce Your Fee" for those available for current FAU affiliates, including faculty, students, and staff.  The guide provides additional suggestions to negotiate APCs.

Find Open Access Publications

Find open access publications through the following recommended sources.

The FAU Libraries' OneSearch help find publications that do not require a subscription or paywall to view.  See below for more details.

Open Access in the FAU Libraries' OneSearch and Collections

  • Use OneSearch to find Open Access books, journals and other works.  Many journals are hybrid that provide some OA works, meaning they are openly and freely available without a subscription or paywall. 
  • Use the search features and filters to limit your search to open access publications.
  • Also, the OA logo Open access logo (orange padlock) indicates if a source or work is open access. 
  • The Libraries' A - Z database can provide our Open Access sources:

Open Access Publications in FAU Libraries

FAU Libraries Open Access Repository and Publications

Organizations and Declarations

SHB Online (2019). What is open access? [Video]. YouTube.

Background and Development of OA

Various governmental, scholarly, and professional organizations from around the world have published statements in support of OA.  See the following for seminal statements. 

Last updated on Apr 2, 2024 3:49 PM