LibGuides: Open Access: Home (2024)

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    • What is Open Access?
    • Open Access 101
    • Open Access Explained!
    • Oakland University Support for Open Access / Article Processing Charges
    • Medical Library Resources for Open Access
    • Open Access Medical Education Journals
  • More on Open Access

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What is Open Access?

LibGuides: Open Access: Home (4)"Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." - Peter Suber. A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access.

Open access refers to freely available, digital, online information. Open access scholarly literature is free of charge and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, for both the users and the authors.

While OA is a newer form of scholarly publishing, many OA journals comply with well-established peer-review processes and maintain high publishing standards. For more information, see Peter Suber's Overview of Open Access.

Open Access 101

Open Access Explained!

Oakland University Support for Open Access / Article Processing Charges

There are several resources available to help OUWB authors pay for APCs (article processing charges) in open access journals.

  • Foundational Medical Studies Open Access Publishing Fee Program

    The purpose of the Foundational Medical Studies (FMS) Open Access (OA) Publishing Fee Program is to increase the opportunity for FMS faculty to publish in open access journals by supporting publication fees for peer-reviewed and accepted manuscripts in program-approved Open Access journals. Individual grant awards may be for up to $3000, paid directly to the OA journal publisher.

  • Oakland University Publisher Agreements

    Some publishers offer special agreements that lower the open access publishing fee for authors. Currently, Oakland University has agreements with BioMed Central and Cambridge Open Access.

Resources for Evaluating Journals & Publishers

The Open Access (OA) publishing model has paved the way for global scholarly communication in allowing free, unlimited access to research without the barriers of publisher paywalls. However, when selecting journals to publish in, be mindful of sham OA journals that only "exist for the sole purpose of profit, not the dissemination of high-quality research findings and furtherance of knowledge" (Berger & Cirasella, 2015). These are known as predatory publishers and could impact your scholarly reputation, promotion and tenure, and institution.

To protect yourself and your work, just remember to thoroughly check your journal before submitting an article for publication. You can useCabell'sas a starting place to check and see if your journal is on the whitelist (legitimate) or blacklist (predatory).

Here are a few criteria that indicate it is a good OA journal:

Indexed in bibliometric databases, such as PubMed, Web of Science, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and others. You can cross check where a journal is indexed using Ulrich's Periodical Directory.

  • PubMed (MEDLINE) This link opens in a new window

    • LibGuides: Open Access: Home (5)

    MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's free bibliographic database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences.

  • Web of Science This link opens in a new window

    • LibGuides: Open Access: Home (6)

    Provides access to the Arts & Humanities Index (A&HCI), Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Science Citation Index (SCI), and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI). The database can be searched by words in article titles and abstracts, by author, by journal, and to look for cited references.

  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) This link opens in a new window

    • LibGuides: Open Access: Home (7)

    DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

  • UlrichsWeb This link opens in a new window

    • LibGuides: Open Access: Home (8)

    UlrichsWeb (Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory) contains subscription, publisher, ISSN and other information on active and ceased serials worldwide: magazines, journals, annuals and more.

Journal website is comprehensive and includes the following information:

  • Editorial board information including member affiliations and emails (geographic location should be very distributed)
  • Contact information including a mailing address that goes to a legit location; contact is not just a blank web form
  • Description of article review process including peer-review
  • No promises of instant or rapid publication
  • Article processing fee is transparent and only required after acceptance of an article

For a complete list of criteria to use in assessing the quality of journals, check out the Medical Library's Checklist for Assessing Journal Authenticity and Think. Check. Submit, an online resource developed to raise awareness of predatory publishers and provide a means of assessing journal quality.

  • Checklist for Assessing Journal Authenticity

    A complete list of criteria to use in assessing the quality of journals. Developed by the OUWB Medical Library.

Salient Features of Potential Predatory Journals:

  • The scope of interest includes non-biomedical subjects alongside biomedical topics
  • The website contains spelling and grammar errors
  • Images are distorted/fuzzy, intended to look like something they are not, or which are unauthorized
  • The homepage language targets authors
  • The Index Copernicus Value [a bogus metric] is promoted on the website
  • Description of the manuscript handling process is lacking
  • Manuscripts are requested to be submitted via email
  • Rapid publication is promised
  • There is no retraction policy
  • Information on whether and how journal content will be digitally preserved is absent
  • The article processing/publication charge is very low (e.g., < $150 USD)
  • Journals claiming to be open access either retain copyright of published research or fail to mention copyright
  • The contact email address is non-professional and non-journal affiliated (e.g., or

Locating Open Access Journals & Books

  • PubMed Central This link opens in a new window

    • LibGuides: Open Access: Home (9)

    PubMed Central is the U.S. National Institute of Health's free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

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  • Last Updated: May 31, 2024 11:37 AM
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Subjects: Medicine

Tags: Journals, Open Access, Predatory Journals, Publishing

LibGuides: Open Access: Home (2024)


What is open access libguide? ›

Open Access (OA) means making research publications freely available so anyone can benefit from reading and using research. OA makes research available to many more people than a subscription-only journal article does & there is evidence that this can lead to an increase in citations.

What is the difference between free access and open access? ›

What is the difference between open access and free access? Open access articles are permanently available while a free access article may be freely available for only a set period of time.

What is the difference between open access and closed access in library? ›

In the case of traditional closed access (subscription-based) journals, the readers, or their institutions and scholarly libraries, pay high fees for access to the articles. Open access publications, by contrast, can be used free of charge. Hence, funding must take place via a different channel.

What is the difference between open access and foss? ›

Similar to how open access research is research that has been licensed to be freely shared, read, cited and more, without restrictions or fees, FOSS is licensed to be freely shared, installed, and modified.

What is Libguide used for? ›

They define library guides as: LibGuides is an easy-to-use content management system deployed at thousands of libraries worldwide. Librarians use it to curate knowledge and share information, organize class and subject specific resources, and to create and manage websites.

What is the purpose of open access? ›

Thus, the aim of open access is to make scholarly literature freely accessible and reusable for everyone – that is, free of charge and, as far as possible, free of technical and legal barriers.

Why is open access better? ›

With open access, you're free to share your research around the world with no restrictions or paywall. Your work will be freely available to those who can't access subscription content.

What are the benefits of open access to libraries? ›

Open Access means more readers, more potential collaborators, more citations for their work, and ultimately more recognition for them and their institution. Open Access means improved access to research for all.

Should I make my book open access? ›

Publishing open access means your book or chapter can be read, reviewed, shared and cited without depending on readers buying it or libraries stocking it. Open access therefore greatly increases the opportunities for your work to be read widely and to have an impact on the world.

What is an example of a FOSS? ›

FOSS promotes sharing, collaboration, community engagement, transparency, and the ability to customize software for individual or organizational needs. Some well-known examples of FOSS include the Linux operating system, the Apache HTTP Server, and the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

Is FOSS free to use? ›

FOSS gives businesses access to the latest software, which they can then use to enhance their own offerings. While FOSS is free to use, this does not mean that users have no obligations.

Is open access the same as public domain? ›

Open Access refers to resources that are freely available for viewing and/or use. Open Access is not the same as Public Domain, and most Open Access creators do retain their copyrights.

What is the meaning of open access library? ›

What Open Access Means. Open Access refers to unrestricted online access to articles published in scholarly publications. Types of open access publications available online include articles, books and book chapters, conference papers, theses, working papers, data and images.

What does it mean if a journal is open access? ›

Open access is a publishing model for scholarly communication that makes research information available to readers at no cost, as opposed to the traditional subscription model in which readers have access to scholarly information by paying a subscription (usually via libraries).

What is open access route? ›

Open access (OA) refers to free, unrestricted online access to research outputs such as journal articles and books. OA content is open to all, with no access fees. There are two main routes to making research outputs openly accessible.

Are open access journals legit? ›

OA fits into scholarly communication norms. Just like any reputable journal, OA journals still: peer review. are indexed in research databases.

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