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Scholarly Communication & Author's Rights: Open Access

This guide provides an overview of the scholarly communication system, rights retention for authors, and open access publication

How Do I Make My Work Open Access?

The first step to making your work Open Access is to retain your copyright. In order to retain your copyright, it is helpful to know the policies of the journals in which you intend to publish. For help determining copyright policies, you may contact me at awesole@clemson.edu.

If you publish in a Gold Open Access journal, such as those produced by PLOS and BioMed Central, you likely will not have to transfer any of your copyright to your publisher. 

If you choose to publish in a traditional journal, you may use SHERPA/RoMEO to determine the copyright policy of that journal. If your journal grants back to you the right to post the author's post-print (accepted manuscript) in an institutional repository such as TigerPrints, simply email this version of your article to us and we will make it Open Access through TigerPrints. 

If the publisher will not allow you to post a version of your work in TigerPrints, please sign and attach an addendum to your publication agreement. This will secure your right to make your accepted manuscript OA through TigerPrints. 

Of course, we are always available to answer any questions you may have. 

Key Resources

What is Open Access?

Open Access logo"Open Access" describes an alternative model for the publication and dissemination of scholarly materials. In an Open Access model, scholarly material is made available online, free of price restrictions and most copyright restrictions, typically through an institutional repository, or publication through an Open Access Journal. When publishing through an Open Access journal, authors typically retain the copyright to their research.

What about Hybrid Journals?

Hybrid journals are traditional journals, in the sense that their revenue comes from subscriptions, that offer authors the option to make their individual article Open Access. This option will carry with it an additional fee, often times upwards of several thousand dollars. Hybrid journals may be a good way for individual researchers to make their works widely available. However, by providing an additional source of revenue to large publishers, they do reinforce the existing problems in the scholarly communication system.

How Open Is It?

Open Access does not just mean that an article is free to readers. Instead, articles can be more or less open depending on en entire suite of rights. Learn more about theses rights and openess here

Two Flavors of OA:

green Open Access iconGreen Open Access

describes self-archiving in an institutional or funder repository, a personal website, or some other freely accessible website. Examples include TigerPrints, PubMed Central, Arxiv, and many others. You probably have the rights to make your work green open access, but you can verify by attaching an addendum (PDF) to your publication agreements. Otherwise, simply send your accepted manuscript of your work to awesole@clemson.edu, and we'll take care of the rest. 

gold Open Access iconGold Open Access

describes publishing ones articled through journals that do not require subscriptions for researchers to access their content. These journals make ALL of their content freely available on their websites. Keep in mind, that much like traditional journals, some OA journals are of very high quality, while others are not. Please feel free to contact us for more information on OA publishers with which you are not familiar.