The traditional model of distributing research is fee-based, and it has become prohibitively costly. Open Access models are an alternative that developed as a response. In traditional publishing models, authors often give up ownership of their work (the copyright). Open Access provides solutions that allow authors to retain ownership, including "green" and "gold" publishing:
Open Access journal funding models are evolving. Sometimes these journals require the author of an article to pay a fee (the Article Processing Charge or APC) to support the publication. Alternately, journals are sponsored by a non-profit organization, such as a university or society.
Within non-Open Access scholarly journals, authors may have the option to pay to make individual articles Open Access. Discovery of these articles is limited within library databases that do not pay for access to these journals. They are, however, discoverable on the open web.
Another Open Access option is to deposit a version of the manuscript of a research article into a university or discipline-based repository. For some author publishing contracts, this can be done even if the article is published by a traditional fee-based publisher.
Open monographic publishing and Open Humanities are growing, with more publishers joining in the effort. The Directory of Open Access Books lists titles and publishers for recent publications.
Due to federal agency and other funder mandates, as well as a general desire to make research more reproducible, scholars are making data available on the open web. The MSU Libraries are able to help by hosting this data, finding discipline-based repositories, and advising on creating Data Management Plans. Request a consultation or learn more about Data Management at the MSU Libraries.
Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication, Author of Open Access.