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Open Access

A guide to open access for Macalester faculty, staff, students.

What defines an open access publication?

Open Access means that online access to the information is unrestricted and free of charge. More thoroughly, an Open Access publication or service is one that meets the following two conditions:

  1. The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship[2], as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.
  2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving (for the biomedical sciences, PubMed Central is such a repository).

Adapted from the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing, June 20, 2003

Advocating for broad access to information and remaining agile in the face of rising operating costs are essential issues for academic libraries for reasons of economic and social justice. While promotion and tenure factors may weigh heavily into your decision of which academic journal to submit to, doing so doesn't mean you have to sign away certain author rights. Library staff can work with you to negotiate your rights before signing restrictive copyright agreements.  You may read more in our section on Author Rights.

Sources for Identifying Peer Reviewed Open Access Journals

With over 9,000 journals in the DOAJ, you can look for topics or browse by subject.