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Open Access

Why Publish in Open Access?

Open Access Logo

An Overview.  Scholarly and some creative works are communicated through the commercial publishing industry (also known as academic, scholarly, or professional publishing).  After the work of authors is accepted for publication, authors usually sign copyright transfer agreements (CTAs) which give publishers the copyright for their work; this means the publisher has control over the use and distribution of the work and usually limits an author's ability to share it through email, social media, learning management systems (LMS) or other means.  The work then is limited to readers who have subscriptions (individually or through a library or organization) or those who willing to pay through a paywall.

As an alternative, many scholars and other academics are publishing their work through Open Access (OA) publishers.  The main reasons for doing this include:

  • Availability: the work is more openly available to the general public and other scholars, and bypasses toll-access or paywalls.
  • Copyright:  authors maintain their copyright and all of its rights over their work (sharing, distributing, making derivatives), and can attach Creative Commons licenses.
  • Sharing work:  authors have more rights to share or distribute work from maintaining copyright.
  • Public access mandates: OA publications may help authors fulfill government or other funder mandates to share their sponsored work with the public.
  • Teaching and learning: authors can share their work without restrictions with students online or in face-to-face settings.
  • Promote scholarship and ideas:  others may get ideas or produce inspired work through the OA articles they can read.

What if my work is already published?  OA can be considered for both published works and those yet to be published.  See "OA for Published or Unpublished Works" below.

Open Access Publishing Agreements with FAU

Transformative agreements between commercial, scholarly publishers and academic entities are increasing.  These agreements can also be known as read and publish agreements or similar terms.  When an author is affiliated with an institution or system, the cost of publishing their work in a publisher's open access journals may be waived or reduced.

Open Access Models

Green Open Access     Hybrid Open Access     Gold Open Access

OA Publishing and Funding Models.  OA publishers use one of 3 broad funding models: green, gold, and hybrid.  Some models may have some costs to be published.  However, bear in mind that most OA publishers do not have charges as 72% of the journals listed in DOAJ do not have any.  Here are some common costs from the publishers that may charge them:

  • Submission Charge: when submitting a manuscript, some publications may ask for a nominal fee ($10 to $75) to cover costs of the editorial and review process.
  • Author Processing Charge (APC):  a fee used for accepted works to offset the costs of publishing in an OA publication; may range from $50 to $3,500.
  • Book Processing Charge (BPC):  a fee for books published by an open access publisher; see a publisher's fees or assistance that can be provided to cover costs.

Waiving OA Fees.  This is often done using one of the following ways:

  • Make a request for a fee or APC waiver to the publisher.
  • Your institution has a membership with an OA publisher or its sponsoring organization.
  • Transformative agreements:  contracts between publishers and institutions that waive APCs for affiliated authors.
  • Utilizing research or grant funds.

OA for Published or Unpublished Works.  OA can be considered for both published works and those yet to be published:

  • Published Works (Green OA):  Publishers may allow authors to self-archive or share certain version of their work in limited ways; see your publisher's policies about OA and sharing.
  • Unpublished Works (Gold or Hybrid OA):  Authors can submit their unpublished work to OA publishers.  They can find Gold OA publishers, or submit their manuscripts to commercial publishers who have hybrid journals and make OA work available through fees. 

Types of Open Access Models:

  Type of Publisher Author Publishing Costs (APCs) Availability/ Version Accessible to Public (Without Paywall or Subscription) Who Retains Copyright / Creative Commons Licensing Self-Archiving
Green Toll-access, commercial publisher None Preprint or Post-print; Embargo possible for version of record.  See publisher's policy. Publisher retains copyright. Author may request author addendum for limited copyright uses. Preprint or Post-print
Hybrid Toll-access, commercial publisher APCs vary Final version of record. See publisher policy; copyright may be negotiated.  Author and publisher select Creative Commons (CC) license. See publisher policy.
Gold* Open Access (OA) publisher APCs vary, or none Final version of record. Author typically retains copyright. Work can be shared by Creative Commons (CC) licenses. Final version of record.

*Diamond Open Access is considered a type of Gold Open Access which does not have APCs.

Information for Authors

Bond, J. (2018). Open access & book publishing. [YouTube Video].

John Bond, a publishing consultant, explains the open access model for books.

Last updated on Dec 6, 2022 11:52 AM