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Open Access Publishing: Why Open Access?

This guide provides information about Open Access publishing.

Open access logo

Open Access means content that is free to read online, download, and share. Here are few reasons to consider publishing your scholarship Open Access:

  • Authors who publish in open access journals and books usually retain their copyrights. This isn't the case in most other publishing venues. Article authors are rarely paid by publishers.
  • Open access journal articles are cited more often than those published in closed journals because they can be read by more people.
  • Closed access slows down the progress of research on issues important to everyone, such as climate change and medicine.
  • For many years journal subscription price increases have far outpaced the rate of inflation. Academic libraries are increasingly unable to provide access to published research and scholarship. Readers outside of educational institutions have even less access. The majority of academic publishing is controlled by a small number of for-profit companies who set pricing.

If you believe everyone should have access to the world's research and scholarship, choose to publish Open Access when you can.

Authors have options for making journal articles Open Access
Type Method Features Considerations

Repository archiving

Publish where you want. Deposit in a repository following publisher rules. Free to authors.

May be delayed by embargo. May not be able to archive the final version. Publisher retains copyright to the final publication.

Gold Fully open access journals

Many options and models. Small stand-alone to mega journals. Free to moderate fees.

Heterogeneous mix of publishers. Fraud risks in unknown journals.

Hybrid Subscription journals with an OA option

Known subscription journals, costs tied to prestige (market value) and subscriptions. Fees moderate to high.

High price barrier deepens inequities based on access to funding. Libraries still need to pay to subscribe.


What if everyone could read your next article?

Ways to participate in Open Access publishing

Check journal policies before publishing
Check SHERPA-RoMEO to see a summary of publisher open access policies prior to submitting. Review copyright and reuse information in publication agreements carefully. Consider using the SPARC Author Addendum to retain more rights when you publish with a subscription journal.
Review for an Open Access journal
Open Access journals need editors, editorial board members, and peer-reviewers. If you're already involved with a subscription journal, start conversations about the journal's policies and practices and how they might shift toward an open model.
Publish in a fully OA journal
Subscription journals with an open option tend to have have high publication fees and require a subscription to access the non-open content. Fully open access journals are a more sustainable alternative. Most OA journals are peer-reviewed. Search the Directory of Open Access Journals for information.
Share your publications
80% of publishers allow authors to share or "self-archive" a version of their article in an institutional or disciplinary repository, providing Open Access to the content. UNH authors can self-archive in the Scholars Repository at
Share and cite Open Access scholarship
Linking to Open Access versions of articles, either from an OA journal or repository, makes it easier for others to avoid paywalls and helps establish OA as the norm. Use a browser extension like Unpaywall to help you find legal, open versions of articles.