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Open Access Basics  |  Open Access Journals  | Organisations & Initiatives  |  Background Publications  |  See also...

Open Access Basics

Glossary of Open Access Abbreviations, Acronyms and Terms - Our comprehensive list, which includes numerous links to the websites of organisations involved in the Open Access movement.

Open Access Overview. An introduction to Open Access by Peter Suber, focusing on open access to peer-reviewed research articles and their preprints.

A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access. An abridged version of Peter Suber's overview (see previous link), available in numerous languages.

Open Access Archive Briefing Papers. JISC-sponsored briefing papers from Key Perspectives Ltd.

Six things that researchers need to know about open access Another gem from Peter Suber's SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Open Access Journals

Open Access journals are the other strand of the move towards open access to research articles. These journals operate in the same way as traditional subscription journals, with the exception that money is given at the point of publication, rather than afterwards, as a subscription. Rather than research funds be given to a library budget to buy a subscription to a journal, the same funds can be given direct to a publisher to simply cover the cost of publication. This leaves the article effectively free thereafter and the author - or anyone else - can disseminate, copy or re-use it in other ways.

The processes of peer-review and editorial functions are left entirely unchanged: the only difference is the stage at which funds are put into the publication process: and since an entire intermediate "middleman" stage is left out, its cheaper, too.

Our partners in OpenDOAR, Lund University, run the Directory of Open Access Journals - DOAJ, which is the standard directory in this area, listing over 2000 peer-reviewed open access journals. The DOAJ also facilitates access to a growing number of individual articles from some of these journals.

Another directory of open access journals lists both peer-reviewed and other journals, reports and series. This is Open J-Gate which indexes articles from 3000+ academic, research and industry journals. More than 1500 of them are peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

Organisations and initiatives

CURL (Consortium of Research Libraries): a grouping of the UK's major research libraries which initiated the SHERPA project.

eprints.org: provides free software "dedicated to the freeing of the refereed research literature online through author/institution self-archiving."

Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model: "a conceptual framework for an archival system dedicated to preserving and maintaining access to digital information over the long term."

Open Archives Initiative (OAI): "develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content."

OSI The Open Society Institute (OSI), is a private grantmaking foundation, promoting democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. The OSI is active in the area of Open Access to information and funds conferences, initiatives and projects in the area

RIN The Research Information Network gives strategic leadership in the UK to establish a national framework for research information provision, and to generate effective and sustainable arrangements for meeting the information needs of the professional research community.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition): "an alliance of universities, research libraries, and organizations built as a constructive response to market dysfunctions in the scholarly communication system."

Useful background publications and information

Guedon, Jean-Claude. 'In Oldenburg's long shadow: librarians, research scientists, publishers and the control of scientific literature'. Creating the Digital Future, Association of Research Libraries Proceedings of the 138th Annual Meeting, 2001.

Harnad, Stevan. 'The self-archiving initiative: freeing the refereed research literature online'. Nature, 410, 2001, p.1024.

Alma Swan, Key Perspectives. 'Open Access '. JISC Briefing Paper, April, 2005

Richard Black, BBC Radio 4 programme 'Publish Or Be Damned' - an interesting set of interviews with principle stakeholders in the area of scholarly communication regarding Open Access publications and repositories. Broadcast 8.00-8.40pm 21 December 2004 Link includes audio file of the programme.

The JISC have produced a useful FAQ on Open Access - Questions and answers about opening up access to research results

See also...

Repositories and Service Providers - A separate SHERPA web page with links to UK institutional repositories, worldwide lists of repositories, and search service providers.

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