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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 Open Access

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 variations in 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.  Repositories, often institutionally or disciplinary based, allow scholars to deposit their research articles in an online, central database freely accessible to anyone.

Advantages of Open Access

Good open access practices offer the following:

  • The same peer-review process and other quality control (editorial board) as traditional models
  • Unrestricted access to all readers, thus increasing visibility and potential impact of the work
  • Discoverable and accessible to everyone through traditional indexes and search engines such as Google Scholar
  • Copyright often remains with the author(s)
  • Conformity with federal law requiring that research conducted using NIH funds and grants from other agencies be made freely available.
  • Increased access to research and higher citations than traditional methods (The OA Citation Advantage - SPARC Europe)

Benefits of an Institutional Repository

The primary purpose of Digital Scholarship@UNLV, and institutional repositories like it, is to make the full-text of works produced by scholars at a university freely available and discoverable to anyone with an internet connection (what is open access?). This ensures scholars, students, taxpayers, potential collaborators, and others can find and have access to the research they need or want, and in turn broadens the audience for authors, encouraging additional use of the work and citations to it.

Another purpose of a repository is to help institutions highlight the research and creative activities accomplished locally.  Just as abstracting and indexing databases cover specific subjects (think of CINAHL, Engineering Village, or the MLA International Bibliography), Digital Scholarship@UNLV does something similar but is based on institutional affiliation rather than discipline.  The library showcases the research at UNLV by entering records for scholarly and creative products reported in Digital Measures and by request from individual faculty members. 

Many research institutions (how many?) have robust repositories, which hold open access copies of accepted manuscripts and in some cases, final published versions of articles (why manuscripts?).  We encourage UNLV authors to share their research widely and populate the UNLV Bibliography with the full-text of their works. Read on to learn more about why making your works available as open access publications benefits you and UNLV.

Why Add My Articles to Digital Scholarship@UNLV?

There are many benefits to you and society by having your works available in Digital Scholarship@UNLV. Submitting your full-text works to us will:

  • Increase visibility and access to your research.  Digital Scholarship@UNLV is optimized to rank high in relevant google searches, so a researcher searching for topics related to your scholarship is more likely to discover your work.  In addition, articles are freely available (and not behind a publisher pay wall), allowing a visitor to download and read your work with ease.
  • Provide insight into the use and reach of your scholarship.  Each month, you will receive a personalized readership report, detailing the number of downloads and location of visitors, indicating the global impact of your scholarship.
  • Preserve and provide access to your research for future generations.  The UNLV Libraries is committed to providing stable, long-term access for your research. So you can rest assured that when you or others need access to the article, it will be there.

Find out how to add your full-text works to Digital Scholarship@UNLV.

Examples of Open Access Publishers and Repositories

These are just a few examples of well-known open access publishers and repositories. Notice UNLV has its very own repository, Digital Scholarship@UNLV, which is described in more detail here.

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