Some Definitions

  • Open Access
    See Peter Suber’s “Praising Progress, Preserving Precision” (2003) for a discussion of the “BBB” definition of open access.
  • Gold and Green OA
    As Peter Suber explains, "The OA movement uses the term gold OA for OA delivered by journals, regardless of the journal’s business model, and green OA for OA delivered by repositories. Self-archiving is the practice of depositing one’s own work in an OA repository. All three of these terms were coined by Stevan Harnad." Read Suber's full discussion in Open Access (MIT, 2012), chapter 3.
  • Gratis and Libre OA
    Again, Peter Suber provides a simple explanation of the major differences between two types of open access: "Gratis OA removes price barriers but not permission barriers. Libre OA is free of charge and also free of some copyright and licensing restrictions. Users have permission to exceed fair use, at least in certain ways."
    Read Suber's full discussion in Open Access (MIT, 2012), chapter 3.

Brief Introductions


  • Martin Paul Eve, Open Access and the Humanities (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2014)
    Background to open access and its specifics for the humanities disciplines, as well as the economics and politics of the phenomenon.
  • Peter Suber, Open Access (Cambridge: MIT, 2012)
    An essential, book-length overview of open access.
  • SPARC: Open Access
    The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication.
  • Harvard Open Access Project
    HOAP launched in 2011 to foster OA within Harvard, foster OA beyond Harvard, undertake research and policy analysis on OA, and provide OA to timely and accurate information about OA itself. HOAP is available to consult with universities, funding agencies, and other institutions developing their own OA policies.
  • Open Access Directory
    The Open Access Directory is a compendium of simple factual lists about open access to science and scholarship, maintained by the OA community at large.

Journal and Repository Directories

  • Directory of Open Access Journals
    The DOAJ seeks to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals through providing a comprehensive listing of OA journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content.
  • OpenDOAR
    A directory of academic open access repositories.
    A registry of open access repositories mandatory archiving policies.

Author Rights

  • SPARC: Author Rights
    Use the SPARC Author Addendum to secure your rights as the author of a journal article.
  • Creative Commons: About the Licenses
    The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. These tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.
    RoMEO is a searchable database of publisher's policies regarding the self-archiving of journal articles on the web and in open access repositories.

Open Access Policies

  • Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies (HOAP)
    Guide to good practices for college and university open access (OA) policies based on the type of rights-retention OA policies first adopted at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and the University of Kansas.
  • Harvard Model Open Access Policy
    A model policy with annotations and explanations. The language represents the accumulated experience of multiple institutions that have drafted and implemented open access policies.

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