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Open Access: Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is academic publications that are free to read and often have various re-use rights utilizing Creative Commons licenses. Research can be Open Access through publishing or archiving.

Open Access has the same standards of peer review, copyright, quality, prestige, and research impact as traditional publishing.

How do I participate in Open Access?

You can participate in Open Access by archiving your research in a repository or publishing in an Open Access journal. You can archive your research in WyoScholar or a disciplinary repository for free - without changing how, where, and why you publish. By publishing in an Open Access journal, your research will become freely available immediately and typically you'll retain your full copyright. Learn more in the archiving and publishing tabs of this guide.

Open Access at UW

University of Wyoming Libraries support the Open Access movement. We invite UW faculty, staff and students to consider retaining your copyright as authors and deposit scholarship in our institutional repository, WyoScholar. Contact your Subject Liaison for a consultation or more information.

Why should I make my research Open Access?

There are a number of benefits from either publishing your work Open Access or archiving it:

  • Open Access publications have proven potential for greater citation
  • Research is more discoverable
  • Rapid publication
  • Authors keep their copyright
  • Taxpayers get access to tax-funded research
  • Helps to eliminate inequalities in access to research
  • Federal funders may require your publication to be Open Access

There are two ways to make your research Open Access. You can publish it in an Open Access journal. We recommend searching for an appropriate journal in the Directory of Open Access Journals, or making a consultation with your librarian to find a suitable journal for your research. You can also archive your work in a repository. Explore the publishing and archiving tabs in this guide to learn more.

Open Access Explained

Open Access Myths

Myth #1: Publishing Open Access is the only Open Access
You can participate in Open Access in two ways: publishing Open Access or archiving your research. 

Myth #2: You're paying to publish
Open Access journals operate on a different funding model. It is not vanity publishing. The "article processing charge" business model shifts the cost and makes the content available to everyone.

Myth #3: All Open Access journals charge fees
The majority of Open Access journals do not charge fees. 60% of journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals do not charge an article processing charge to the author. 

Myth #4: Open Access journals are low in quality
Open Access journals have the same standards of peer review, copyright, quality, prestige, and research impact.