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 example, 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.
Good open access practices offer the following:
Green Open Access: An author publishes their article in a pay-to-access journal, and then is able to self-archive a version of their work into an open access repository, as well as the author's website.
Gold Open Access: An author publishes their article in an open access journal, where anyone can access the article (similar to publishing in an institutional repository).
Hybrid Open Access: A journal or publisher that is primarily pay-to-access, but has some articles that are open access.
Predatory Publishers: Predatory open access publishing is an exploitative academic publishing business model that involves charging publication fees to authors without providing the editorial and publishing services associated with legitimate journals.
Publisher Policy: Publishing companies often have policies related to where authors can share versions of their full-text works. These policies frequently can dictate when, where, and how authors can share their work.
Pay wall: A pay wall is a virtual "wall" behind which journal articles exist that someone must pay a fee to access. For researchers affiliated with an academic or research institution, this fee is often paid for by the institution in a subscription-based model.
Pre-Print: A draft of an academic article before being submitted for peer review
Post-Print: The "final draft" of an academic article after editing and peer review
Publisher Version/PDF: The version of an academic article that is formatted for publication in a journal and/or online
Embargo: A period of time that an academic article cannot be deposited into an institutional or open access repository
An institutional repository is an archive for collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the intellectual output of an institution, particularly a research institution. For institutions like UNLV, an institutional repository primarily contains scholarly outputs such as full-text articles, conference presentations, scholarly posters, and more.
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. 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, by request from individual faculty members, and through citation database alerts.
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.
This guide was created with content and resources from other guides (credited where applicable) and content created by Andrea Wirth, Scholarly Communications Librarian, and Christina Miskey, Citation & Bibliography Assistant.