Open Access Academic Publishing:
What It Is, Why It’s Important, and How to Use It
Maura Smale, New York City College of Technology
Alycia Sellie, Brooklyn College
Jill Cirasella, Brooklyn College
What Is the Problem?
Universities (funded by tuition, grants, etc.) pay faculty salaries →
Faculty do research & record findings in articles →
Faculty give articles to publishers for free →
Publishers also require researchers to relinquish copyright →
Other researchers peer review and edit for free →
Publishers charge universities and individuals a fortune for subscriptions to journals filled with research that the journals got for free and the universities already paid for once by paying faculty salaries!
How Big Are Commercial Publishers’ Profit Margins?
Staggeringly big! Bigger than Apple’s, bigger than Disney’s, even bigger than Google’s!
What Is the Solution?
Open access to scholarly journal articles! Open access (OA) articles are:
1. accessible at no cost on a journal website or in an online repository committed to long-term archiving
2. available for all to read, download, print, copy, share, etc. (attribution always required, of course)
Learn more: A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access by Peter Suber
How Can We Achieve Open Access?
There are two paths to open access:
1. “Gold” OA: publish in open access journals
2. “Green” OA: publish in subscription-based journals that allow authors to archive articles in subject repositories (PubMed Central, arXiv, SSRN, etc.) or institutional repositories
Who Benefits from Open Access Publishing?
Everyone: readers, students, researchers, authors, libraries, academic institutions, fields of study, journalists, medical patients, medical providers, voters, the public, etc.
“Closed access means people die.”
– Peter Murray Rust
Where Can You Learn More about Open Access?
Where Can You Find Open Access Literature?
Find Gold OA journals:
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Browse or search 7000+ OA journals
Find OA articles in disciplinary repositories:
PubMed Central (biomedical sciences)
Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
arXiv (computer science, physics, etc.)
Find OA articles using Google or Google Scholar:
If an article is available open access, Google Scholar will almost always find it!
How Can You Protect Your Rights as an Author?
Find OA-Friendly Publishers with SHERPA/RoMEO
SHERPA/RoMEO summarizes publishers’ & journals’ copyright & self-archiving policies
SPARC Author Addendum
A legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key
rights to your articles
Creative Commons Licenses
Alternatives to traditional copyright — authors and creators can choose which rights they retain and which uses they allow
Exercise the rights you have!
87% of scholarly journal publishers allow authors to immediately self-archive some version of their articles. Allowing for embargoes (usually 6 to 24 months), 94% of publishers allow self-archiving of the post-refereed version!
What Else Can You Personally Do?
• Sign the Open Access Pledge! http://www.openaccesspledge.com/
• Join the 10,000+ scholars boycotting Elsevier! http://thecostofknowledge.com/
• Opt out of the commercial publishing system! Read Getting Yourself Out of the Business in Five Easy Steps by Jason Baird Jackson
• Celebrate Open Access Week (October 22-28, 2012)!
• SMASH TOLL ACCESS! Follow the OA Hulk on Twitter!
Are You Part of CUNY? If So (or Even If Not!)…