Open Access is about making research outputs freely available on the Internet at the point of access, as opposed to a traditional publishing model which places research published online behind a subscription or paywall. Open Access takes the results of research that has already been paid for and makes it freely available online. It includes journal articles and other types of research such as theses, conference papers and research reports etc.
How can an author make his/ her research open access?
There are 2 routes to OA: green and gold.
Green OA : This can be done by depositing an article published in a subscription-based journal in an institutional (such as City Research Online) or discipline-specific repository such as the SSRN or RePEc. or ArXiv
Gold OA: Gold open access is also known as the author pays model (usually the author’s institution will pay to deposit the article). A fee is paid to make the content available to everyone not just subscribers on the publisher website. In the case of articles, this is known as an Article Processing Charge (APC).
Many publishers are making open access content available eg. Sage Open, SpringerOpen . Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press, among many others, also offer hybrid model, allowing authors to have their articles on open access within subscription journals for a fee. See the City Research Online and open access guide here. You can also check for yourself prior to choosing where to publish, using the Sherpa Romeo database (to check publisher copyright and self-archiving policies).
Benefits of open access?
The author benefits from increased visibility and potential for maximising impact outside of the academic community or internationally, the wider research community benefits from access to research findings regardless of their institution’s capacity to subscribe to a journal, society benefits from access to publicly funded research outputs and the journal in which the article was published will still benefit from citations and increased coverage. There is also central storage and preservation.
Additionally, many funding bodies now mandate or actively encourage research they have funded is deposited in a repository or made open access via another route.
The Sherpa Juliet database contains a summary of policies given by various research funders as part of their grant awards.
How is the Library supporting researchers and open access?
City Research Online is City University London’s institutional research repository. It contains a selection of research outputs created by City University London staff and researchers, mainly journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. Many universities have repositories to store their research output.
Rather than searching a number of repositories to find relevant research, harvesters such as OpenDOAR and ROAR have access to subject-based and institutional repositories, including City Research Online.
City Research Online content is also discoverable via City Library Search.