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Scholarly Publishing

What is Open Access?

  • 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.
  • Open Access is part of a continuum ranging from completely closed, subscription/purchase only access to completely open, no barrier publishing. Open Access is not related to the quality of materials or the peer-review/non-peer-review status of the publications.
  • Open Access differs from Open Source or Open Licensed in that the primary use of Open Access materials will be viewing or reading, while Open Source materials are available for modification of the underlying software or text.

Open Access Repositories

Open Access Quality Indicators

New open access journals have been proliferating rapidly. Many are high-quality peer-reviewed publications. The low barrier to entry into the market has also allowed the proliferation of journals that engage in unprofessional or unethical practices. The following quality indicators are intended to provide guidance in evaluating publication venues or in responding to invitations to serve as an editor or reviewer.

No single criterion below indicates whether or not a publication is reputable, but the balance of positive and negative indicators may inform the evaluation. If further help is needed, please contact your subject librarian.

Sophia: Online Depository

SOPHIA: An e-community of scholarship and creativity

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