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Library 101 for ACU Faculty: Open Access Publishing

A quick information guide to the Brown Library, specifically geared toward new ACU faculty members.

What is Open Access?

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, and the right to use these articles fully in the digital environment. (SPARC Open Access Fact Sheet). Many federal funding agencies REQUIRE that resulting research be made openly available. The National Science Foundation, for example, requires that publications be available for download, reading and analysis free of charge no later than 12 months after initial publication. NEH currently has no requirement for OA, NIH has a Public Access Plan, similar to NSF's.

There are two levels of OA:

Green: refers to depositing articles in an institutional repository, or a subject repository.

Gold: refers to publishing in an Open Access Journal, often these have a publication fee associated with the journal.

With the expansion of Open Access in scholarly publication, it can be confusing to understand issues related to publishing. This tab should answer basic questions about OA publishing.

Open Access at ACU: The ACU Library hosts six Open Access journals, has a Digital Repository for open publication of scholarly work and archival resources, and offers services related to open access publication.


How Do I Publish OA?

  1. Upload your work to ACU's Digital Repository :
  2. Publish your research in an OA journal


The most common license used in OA publications and digital repositories is the Creative Commons:

These are flexible and can range from somewhat open, to completely open licenses.

Why should I use Open Access?

Making your research output available freely online can lead to higher readership and citations. This can raise an author's impact and help with tenure and promotion. A list of studies on the benefits of OA publishing can be found here.

" The results of this natural experiment are clear: in the 4 to 16 months following publication, OA articles gained a significant citation advantage over non-OA articles during the same period. They are twice as likely to be cited 4 to 10 months after publication and almost three times as likely between 10 and 16 months. " - C J MacCallum


Many funders now require that resulting research be made available to the public, if you have questions about your research outputs and requirements please feel free to contact your librarian.



Open Access Repositories