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What you can do!

There are a number of ways to achieve Open Access to your research, these are through

  • Self archiving in an institutional repository
  • Self archiving in an subject based repository
  • Publishing in Open Access Journals

Self Archiving in an Institutional Repository

Institutional repositories are institution based, and have as their main focus the long term preservation of digital research outputs. In undertaking that preservation repositories enable online distribution of scholarly material, free to the public. Sydney eScholarship Repository provides this digital archival service for the University.

Archiving of material in repositories is reliant upon authors to submit their work. Many publishers already allow authors to self archive, though permission is usually restricted to the preprint or postprint of the article. There may be other conditions placed on self archiving, including embargo periods, and providing links to the published copy (in some cases the publisher may allow you to archive the published version). You can search the SHERP/RoMEO or OAKList databases to know more about the self archiving policies of journals with which you publish. Please see - Outline for checking for OA policies

It is recognized that in some cases open access to research through self archiving is not possible, including work conducted relevant to patents, and other research considered confidential, classified or involving commercial imperatives. The advantage of self archiving is that you provide greater exposure to your work, increasing the potential for competitive advantage over research that is not archived.

Researchers often place copies of their work on departmental websites, however this may not only breach your agreement with your publisher but will not provide the maximum exposure to your work. The descriptive metadata in Repository records is harvested by search engines such as Google, Google Scholar, the National Discovery Service and the ISI Web Citation Index.

Self archiving in an subject based repository

Subject based repositories are usually discipline based and have as their main focus the disemination of digital research outputs in a specific area. In undertaking online distribution of scholarly outputs the matierial is free to the public. arXiv.org provides a digital archival service for the fields of Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics py.

Open Access Journals

The main premise for publishing in Open Access journals is that your research is freely available online upon publication. Open Access journals have a number of advantages over conventional journal publications, including:

  • Immediate distribution of your work worldwide
  • Retention of your copyright. Unlike subscription based journals OA publications allow you to retain the rights over your work.
  • Removal of barriers to access. Subscriptions to journals can be expensive, and can therefore restrict the audience to your work. Making your research openly accessible increases exposure and readership.

OA journals, like other scholarly publications, are subject to peer review.

There are a number of ways OA journals fund their operations. Funding is usually provided through both financial assistance from institutions and professional societies, and through article processing fees charged to the author. This fee is usually paid by the employer or funding agency, and not normally by the author personally. To check the availability of OA journals in your field please see the Directory of Open Access Journals. As well as this you should check the journal reputation, one site that you may wish to loook at is Beall's List of Predatory Publishers 2013

Examples of OA journal publishing