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Open Access Publishing

Information on open access publishing, article processing charges (APCs), evaluation tools, levels of open access, and open access organizations.

Open Access Q&A

"Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results—to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives." --SPARC

What is open access publishing?

Open Access (OA) publishing is a method of disseminating knowledge, such as research articles and creative works, on the internet without any cost to readers. This democratizes access to scholarly work by removing financial barriers, enabling a broader audience to benefit from the information. By offering your scholarly works to the public, you ensure they can be explored by any person with an internet connection. Open Access strives to level the playing field, ensuring that valuable insights are accessible to all, regardless of geographical location or financial constraints.

Why publish open access content?

Beyond the philosophical ideals above, OA publications can reach more readers around the world, expanding a work's influence and sparking collaboration. With greater access, the pace and depth of knowledge increases, as researchers and scholars can build upon existing information more rapidly.

How does it work?

Instead of collecting fees from the readers after publication, publishers require a fee from the submitters (see the section below on
Article Processing Charges). Unfortunately, this model has also led to a rise in questionable publishers that churn out any and all submissions with little to no review process. These articles are then often lost within the flood and have limited citations following publication. See the section on Predatory and Questionable Publishers to learn more.


How do I find reputable open access publishers?

With the rise of predatory publishing, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure an Open Access publisher is trustworthy. Use the links below for information on locating directories of recognized and vetted Open Access publishers, checking if a publication is peer-reviewed or not, as well as a tool to suggest vetted publications for your scholarly work.

Recent News

Article Processing Charges (APCs)

In response to the growing popularity of Open Access, the number of Open Access journals has been increasing rapidly. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), an independent index of reputable Open Access journals, currently lists over 19,000 OA titles. As publishers transition to offering hybrid or full Open Access publishing, many are exploring new income models to support Open Access publishing. One common income model publishers use to support open access is administering article processing charges, also known as article publication charges or article processing fees.  

Article processing charges (APCs) are fees that are required by some OA publishers to cover the cost of the peer review process, as well as other expenses, usually paid by the authors of a given scholarly work. They are often subsidized by research grants, foundations, internal departmental funds, or an institutional Open Access fund. A survey was distributed to faculty at Creighton University in March 2022 to determine what barrier APCs are to the campus scholars. Data from this survey was shared to initiate a discussion on whether or not there is a need for an Open Access fund. A summary of the results is available below, for more details see the story published in the University Libraries newsletter.