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Scholarly Publishing and Open Access

This guide provides tips and resources for navigating the scholarly publishing landscape, including journal lists, author resources, and resources about preprints and repositories.

Locating Open Access Research

Open Access Explained

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Nancy Shin

What is Open Access?

Open access research includes research that is digital, free to access, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions found in traditional journal publishing. Check out the video "Open Access Explained" for more information.

When choosing your publication route, you may encounter the terms “green,” “gold,” and “hybrid” publishing.

15 Color Words For Green | Dictionary.comGreen open access is repository-based open access where an author self-archives a version of research in a repository like medRxiv, JScholarship (our institutional repository), PubMed Central, or other open access repositories. This route is normally free.


Poly Gold Square 54" Rentals | LinensGold open access is journal-based open access. These can be either fully open access or hybrid open access journals. Sometimes, but not always, a publisher might charge for ensuring the manuscript is published open access. Fully open access journals will be less costly for authors.


Square Color Coded Labels | 4" x 4" Color Code Label, Red Square |  America's Finest LabelsHybrid open-access journals are subscription journals in which some of the articles are open access for a fee. The journal is not fully open access, but some publishers will refer to hybrid journals as "gold" open access.

Comparison of Subscription and Open Access Journals

Open access and subscription journals are similar in that they both should have peer-review processes in place, are owned and operated by commercial and and non-profit publishers, and should be indexed in proper indexing services.

Open access and subscription journals differ in which groups have access to journal content.

  • Open access journals are freely accessible to anyone with an Internet connection, while subscription journals place research behind a paywall.
  • Authors normally retain copyright for their open access publications.
  • Some open access publishers charge authors article processing charges (APCs) to publish research openly.

Researchers do have options to publish in 0-APC journals and/or self-archive work! Check out the Directory of Open Access Journals for APC information.

Why Open Access?

Why Open Access Graphic

Image: CC-BY Danny Kingsley and Sarah Brown

Benefits for the Researcher

  • Evidence that Open Access publications have an 18% higher citation rate

  • Open Access research can be disseminated to as wide an audience as possible

Benefits for Science and Medicine

  • More researchers have access to read and build upon research or collaborate across institutions and countries
  • Nonprofits and other policy groups may not have funds to pay to read research. Open Access enables them to read and cite your work and improve policy
  • Some doctors may not have the same access to research they once did during medical school. Open Access equips doctors with the latest and greatest research

Benefits for Humanity

  • Open Access allows patients and patient advocates to access research about their diagnosis
  • Taxpayers often fund research that then goes behind a paywall. Open Access encourages return on investment and the Right to Research Coalition offer more examples of concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly outputs openly available.