Open Scholarship FAQs
Open Scholarship is defined by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) as encompassing open access, open data, open educational resources, and all other forms of openness in the scholarly and research environment, and as changing how knowledge is created and shared.
Open Scholarship and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) scholarly practices underpin the integrity of research, its efficient dissemination to researchers, students, policy makers, and the wider public, and facilitates faster scientific discovery and problem-solving. A commitment to open scholarship contributes to research impact through the principles of transparency, global access, and flexible reuse and will maximize the visiblity of researchers and the outputs of their research.
When academic authors sign their copyright ownership over to the scholarly commercial publishers, the rights to provide free and open access to the published content transfers from the author(s) to the publisher even if no money exchanges hands. Scholarly commercial publishers make significant profits off of the scholarship they package and sell back to academic libraries as journal subscriptions, big deal packages, and ebook collections.
Open Access (OA) journals and books are differentiated by their business models, not in their manner of editing or peer review. There are thousands of peer-reviewed open access scholarly journals and books; currently, hundreds of them are indexed in Web of Science and through other high quality and high impact indicators.
Scholarly authors can ask to amend their publishing contracts to allow for immediate deposit into their local institutional repository or in subject preprint portals of their accepted scholarship. Authors can also choose to publish their content in open access books, open access journals, and open data repositories.
Look for a quality open access publishing venue.
Publishing open access makes your work immediately freely available, and often allows you to retain full rights to your work. Several organizations have reviewed and updated lists and databases for authors to find the perfect, fully open venue for their work:
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): Over 9,000 Open Access journals vigorously vetted for quality and consistent publication practice.
- Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA): One of the most respected lists of verified open access publishers.
- PubMed Central Journals: Database consisting of approved journals related to life sciences and biomedical topic and maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.
- Ulrich's Periodicals Directory: A thorough directory of accredited serial publications. Look for the small "unlock" icon for open access journals.