Whether you’re brand-new to open access (OA) or have been publishing in OA journals for years, October 14th is a day of note. SPARC, Students for Free Culture, and the Public Library of Science have declared today the first-ever Open Access Day.
Open Access is a publishing model for academic journals. In the currently dominant publishing model, readers pay a fee to access scholarly articles (either individually or by paying for a subscription to a journal) and these fees support the publishing businesses. In an OA model, the authors or their institutions pay fees to support the publishers and the peer review process: after an article is published, any reader anywhere in the world can access the article freely. These different models have different implications for who can access and use the world’s scholarly information. Learn more about Open Access models of publication at SPARC’s Open Access page.
What can you do to support OA? Before you publish your next article, review the Directory of Open Access Journals and consider submitting to a journal that supports OA policies. When writing grant proposals, consider requesting funds to cover the costs of publishing in an OA journal. If you publish in or serve as a peer reviewer for a non-OA journal, talk to the publisher about adopting one of the Open Access models. Support the reliable OA journals in your field by reading and citing them.