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Scholarly Communication: Open Access

This guide is for UNLV authors. It provides resources on open access, publishing, bibliometrics, and more.

Introduction to the Open Access Movement

Open Access refers to publications which are free to anyone with an internet connection. This includes the rights to view, read, download and build upon the work being read.  There are other forms of open access publishing however, for examOpen Access Logople the work may be made freely available to find and read, but not to re-use.  The most common types of open access include journals that use a business model that allows for free access to readers (no subscriptions) but receives sponsorship or supports itself through charges to authors instead.  Archives, often institutionally or disciplinary based allow scholars to deposit their research articles in an online, central database freely accessible to anyone. 

Examples of open access journal publishers and archives are listed below:

Advantages of Open Access

  • The same peer-review process and other quality control (editorial board) as traditional models
  • More efficient and timely publishing compared to traditional methods
  • Unrestricted access to all readers
  • Long-term availability of content
  • Discoverable through traditional indexes and the Web, thus increasing visibility and potential impact of the work
  • Researchers keep copyright of material for use in teaching and research
  • Conformity with federal law requiring that research conducted using NIH funds be made freely available and other agencies.
  • Increased access to research and higher citations than traditional methods (The OA Citation Advantage - SPARC Europe)

Benefits of an Institutional Repository

An institutional repository allows a University to highlight its research because it is freely available online to anyone with an Internet connection.  This is beneficial because there is a current movement in many disciplines where faculty are discovering the usefulness of beginning their research using non-traditional resources, such as GoogleScholar.  In faculty focus groups conducted during the University Libraries’ collection assessment, almost half of the participating faculty stated that they begin their research using GoogleScholar.  The institutional repository is particularly useful because it allows:

·         Faculty to deposit their research in subject collections


·          Promotes interdisciplinary research by providing access to all University faculty’s research.  This allows faculty to find colleagues who are researching in similar areas


·         Marketing of events that are being held at the University

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