Why publish in Open Access (OA)?
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 e-mail, social media, learning management systems (LMS) or other means. These works then are 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:
OA Publishing & Funding Models. OA publishers use one of 3 models: green, gold, and hybrid. Due to the funding models used by OA publlishers, publishing in Open Access may involve some costs when submitting manuscripts. However, bear in mind that most OA publishers do not have charges; 72% of the journals listed in DOAJ do not have any. Here are some common costs from the publishers that may charge them:
OA fees can often be waived by request, or through individual or institutional memberships with an OA publisher (or its sponsoring organization).
OA for Published or Unpublished Works. OA can be considered for both published works and those yet to be published:
Types of Open Access Models:
|Type of Publisher||Author Publishing Costs (APCs)||Availability/ Version||Copyright/ Creative Commons Licensing||Self-Archiving|
|Green||Toll-access, commercial publisher||None||Post-print; Embargo possible for version of record.||Publisher retains copyright. Author may request author addendum for limited copyright uses.||Post-print|
|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 allowed.|
|Hybrid||Toll-access, commercial publisher||APCs vary||Final version of record.||Publisher (typically) retains copyright. CC license varies.||Dependent on publisher.|
*Diamond Open Access is considered a type of Gold Open Access which does not have APCs.
Many consider Open Access (OA) to be synonymous with deceptive or predatory publishers, which are described as those that use questionable publishing ethics in soliciting manuscripts, peer review, editorial processes, and misuse works distributed by other publishers.
Deceptive publishers take advantage of OA models. Instead of having the goal of making scholarly and academic work openly available, the main one is to make a profit without regard to the validity, merit, or overall quality of its published work. This may result in distributing faulty research and information that may be used by researchers to support their new work, resulting in less than ideal outcomes or a waste of time and resources.
A standard "list" of deceptive or predatory publishers does not exist, and various publishing and academic organizations struggle to create a template for evaluating and identifying them. Despite this misuse of OA, many publishers and scholars tout its benefits of making scholarly research available and supporting new works. See the Research Guide, Deceptive or Predatory Journals, for characteristics and ways to evaluate a publication.
Related Research Guides
OA Publishing Information for Authors
Bond, J. (2018). Open access & book publishing. [YouTube Video]. https://youtu.be/OOthzynLiqg
John Bond, a publishing consultant, explains the open access model for books.
FAU Libraries OA Services & Memberships