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Scholarly Communication

An exploration of issues relating to scholarly communication and open access.

Why is Open Access Important?

What is Open Access?

The Open Access movement is a response to a number of developments and challenges within scholarly communications

  • Technology allows quicker and cheaper dissemination of research outputs
  • Journal subscription costs are increasing and libraries are struggling to keep up
  • Growing demand from research funders for taxpayers to be able to access the research they fund

The open and free availability of research outputs to anyone at point of access. Open access material is more frequently published as peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers, but can also include monographs, book chapters, theses and research data.

  • Access is free of charge
  • Free of most restrictions on use (though attribution is still a must)
  • Defined by the Bethesda, Berlin and Budapest statements on open access publishing

Types of Open Access

There are currently two main models by which you can disseminate your research as open access, 'Green' and 'Gold'. 

Green Open Access

"When you deposit a version of your paper into a repository..."

  • Subject to journal enforced embargo periods
  • Available from a secondary source, such as
    • An institutional repository - like UMW's Eagle Scholar
    • A subject repository
  • Typically this is the Author accepted manuscript (a.k.a - post-print) rather than formatted publisher version deposited by authors themselves. See the glossary tab for a more detailed definition.

Gold Open Access

"When you pay an article processing charge (APC) to a publisher for immediate open access from the publishers platform..."

  • Available immediately upon publication
  • Available at the source of publication (usually the journal website)
  • No charge at point of access for user
  • Typically paid for with APCs (article processing charges) though there are other business models
  • Typically made available under a Creative Commons license‚Äč