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Scholarly Communication: Open Access

The Open Science Vision from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Book Cover

Open science by design : realizing a vision for 21st century research.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Toward an Open Science Enterprise.
National Academies Press. 2018. Free Full Text Online from National Academies Press.

Paywalled? Get an Open Access version!

With so many published papers now freely available through repositories and preprint servers, it's only natural that a new service has emerged: the free version detector. With one click, search the world for free versions of published research.

Find Open Access Journals

DOAJ is a reliable resource for Open Access journals, with strict quality criteria. Now with a filter for the a) green DOAJ seal of outstanding compliance with open access standards or the b) orange DOAJ seal of highest standards Best Practices.


Recommended Books

"Open Access is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." -- Peter Suber

The two methods of open access for enhanced dissemination of scholarship are: 1) publish in open access journals and  2) deposit peer-reviewed manuscripts and other work in repositories such as Pitt's D-Scholarship@Pitt and PubMed Central(PMC). Both methods are Google-searchable and provide access to full-text scholarly materials. Find out more from Peter Suber's "A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access."

An Introduction to Open Access

Introduction to Open Access

Benefits of Open Access

Make Your Own Work Open Access with Creative Commons

Creative Commons bookFREE eBook download
Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians
NEW from Creative Commons. 2020. 157 pp.
Licensed with CC-BY.

CC-BY: User has permission to copy, redistribute, remix, transform, and build upon the content for any purpose, even commercially, as long as user gives appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, indicate if changes were made, and does not impose additional restrictions.

Other CC licenses available. You decide.

New models of OPEN

PeerJ has rapid peer review and low cost. Indexed in PubMed, Web of Science, Biosis, EMBASE, Scopus & more with JCR Impact Factor. Low cost for peer-reviewed publishing via either three levels of membership OR $1,095 per paper. The Basic individual membership is $399/year including 1 publication; the $449 Enhanced membership covers 2 publications; Premium membership covers 3 peer-reviewed publications. 

eLife  Login with your ORCID iD for rapid peer review and online publication. Indexed in PubMed, MEDLINE, Web of Science, Biosis, EMBASE, Scopus & more. eLife has opted out of JCR Impact Factor to focus on article quality. As of January 1, 2017, there is a $2500 fee for research articles.

Wellcome Open Research This online journal features open peer review, rapid publication and publication fees ranging from $150 to $999 depending on length. It accepts many publication types, from research and systematic reviews to datasets. Supporting data is required with research publications. 

Open Up! Journal & Funder Policies

PREPRINTS have some of the benefits of Open Access

Saderi, D; Polka, J (2018):
Anatomy of a preprint
figshare. Poster.

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) defines a preprint as "a scholarly manuscript posted by the author(s) in an openly accessible platform, usually before or in parallel with the peer review process."

NIH Notice Number: NOT-OD-17-050 Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products for the May 25, 2017 due date and thereafter. This notice clarifies reporting instructions to allow investigators to cite their interim research products and claim them as products of NIH funding.

When can a traditional publication act more like Open Access? When you post a free version before or after publication!

1. Check your Publisher Preprint Policies at SHERPA/RoMEO. Most, but not all, publishers permit this.

Preprint servers currently available to authors in biomedicine include:

Use the HSLS federated preprint search tool, search.bioPreprint, to simultaneously search arXiv, bioRxiv, F1000Research, preprints and Wellcome Open Research.

Other federated search tools: - Indexes preprints from 8 servers: arXiv q-bio(Quantitative Biology), bioRxiv, F1000Research,, Wellcome Open Research, The Winnower, and Nature Precedings. Links to the server citation.

Term Frequency Over Time from Click on Monthly Statistics and enter your search term in “Term frequency over time.” Click the “Term Plot” button. Search sample: pneumonia.


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