What Is Open Access?
Open Access is a method of publishing works of scholarship, creativity and culture that removes cost for the reader and reduces copyright barriers to allow legitimate sharing and resuse of the work. Using readily available digital technologies and the Internet, authors and creators can produce, publish, and provide access to their new works more directly, quickly and efficiently. Open access resources are generally free to use, and are available to be downloaded, copied, and distributed without concerns for violating copyright.
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The Open Access Advantage
Advocates and scholars of Open Access publishing cite several benefits of this form of publishing, including:
- Increased discoverability of articles by potential readers worldwide because: (a) the research is found more easily via Internet searches; and (b) the research is available to all potential readers without a prior subscription or payment;
- Earlier access to OA research versus traditional publishing channels that have longer lag times between acceptance and dissemination
- Increased downloads and readership of OA articles because the full text is available online for free
Additionally, some OA advocates theorize that the above OA advantages also lead to an article citation advantage. However, the verdict on this theory is still out, with some studies showing a citation benefit for OA published articles and others finding little correlation.
Further information about the Open Access Advantage may be found in the following recommended resources:
Swan, Alma, 2010,The Open Access Citation Advantage: studies and results to date,” http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/268516/2/Citation_advantage_paper.pdf).
What Works Are Available via Open Access?
As a method of access and use, Open Access publishing is being used across a wide spectrum of material types and subject areas. Some of the most commonly found Open Access resources include:
- Scholarly and scientific journals, including many peer-reviewed titles
- Academic and scholarly books
- Fiction and non-fiction literature
- Digital repositories
How Is Texas A&M Demonstrating Its Commitment to Open Access?
- Offers training on Open Access publishing, Creative Commons licensing, Copyright and Fair use, and Negotating with publishers to retain author's rights
- Continuing participation in international annual Open Access Week celebration, with events and activities sponsored across campus
- Texas A&M Libraries' Scholarly Communications Web site
- Development and management of the Texas A&M Digital Repository
- Co-founding and continued membership in the Texas Digital Library
- Scholarly Publishing Symposium held February 2009
- Full membership in the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
- Participation in the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)
- Partner in the HathiTrust, "an international community of research libraries committed to the long-term curation and availability of the cultural record"
Departmental Guides from
Aggies for Open Access