By: Lucy Frisch
Open Access (OA) is when publications are made freely available online to everyone at no cost and with very limited restrictions related to reuse. The Open Access model is particularly important for authors to understand as they aim to increase exposure of their work, seek to access sources for their research, and work to attract funding. Below are 7 things you need to know about OA to help dispel the myths you might have heard.
- Open Access has two main routes: Gold open access and Green open access.
Gold OA makes an article freely accessible to everyone once published. Authors retain the article copyright in the Gold OA model whereas copyright for Green OA articles typically sits with the publisher, or affiliated society, and there are restrictions as to how the work can be reused.
- If you’re going for Open Access, go for gold.
Opting for Gold OA leads to increased citation and usage due to articles being immediately available online upon publication (for free!). This immediate publication leads to faster impact and larger public engagement. Plus, authors get to keep their copyright.
- Gold OA costs are defrayed through article-processing charges (APCs).
APCs vary by publisher, journal, and discipline and some journals don’t even charge an APC. APCs cover everything from editorial work and production of articles to marketing of journal content and customer service.
- Licensing Open Access articles under a Creative Commons license has become the standard.
In most instances authors retain copyright with Gold OA but when articles are published in subscription titles, the copyright is transferred to the publisher or society. Learn more about Creative Commons here.
- Many funders and institutions have made OA part of their general funding.
This increased spending specifically for OA initiatives offers funding to cover APCs for researchers, faculty, and members.
- The business model is the only difference between OA and subscription publications.
OA journals are subject to the same peer review, production, and publishing standards as subscription-based journals and there is absolutely no question about the reliability of the work. OA journals are tracked for impact factors the same way other journals are.
- Authors must be on the lookout for predatory journals.
There’s been a recent increase in the number of predatory journals that don’t uphold the standards of peer review expected of reputable journals. Make sure a journal completes the check list before submitting.
At Springer Nature we offer several open access options across our portfolios.
Discover additional details on these questions and more in our Author and Reviewer Tutorial on Open Access. When you’re finished, take the quiz to enforce what you’ve learned. Be sure to check-out the other Author & Reviewer Tutorials we offer.
Featured Image Credit: Open access in Wordle by fyzhou1. CC 2.0 via Flickr.