What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) literature has been defined as digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. OA materials may be downloaded and shared freely thus they have the possibility to be more widely read and cited than literature that appears in a closed-access, or subscription, journals. For more information about Open Access at IU, visit openscholarship.indiana.edu.

Green vs. Gold

There are two major types of Open Access publishing: Gold and Green. Gold OA refers to publishing in an open access journal that provides immediate access to the article. Green OA is a method whereby authors publish in any journal (open or closed access) and upon publication self-archive a version of the article in an OA institutional repository, subject repository such as arXiv, or central repository such as PubMed Central. Understanding of the types of Open Access can be confused by Hybrid OA journals. These journals are closed access but provide a Gold OA publishing option for individual articles for which their authors (or their author's institution or funder) pay an OA publishing fee.

The Economics

Just because something is freely available online, does not meant that there were no costs involved in placing it there. Open access publishers have tried various methods to support this type of publishing, and the current state of publishing is still in flux as no one method will work for all publishers. Some will charge author fees, some are subsidized by institutions, some are subsidized by scholarly societies. There is no one size fits all solution.

How do I find Open Access materials? 

Generally, most people find open access materials through a search engine such as Google. The IU Bloomington insitituational repository, IUScholarWorks, is optimized to facilitate indexing by Google Scholar. We have found that it takes Google about two weeks to index an article from our repository in Google Scholar. You can also search for open access journals through the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or look for articles in repositories. A list of repositories can be found through the Directory of Open Access Repositories (DOAR).

How can I support Open Access? 

  • Deposit your work in the IUScholarWorks Repository.
  • Publish your work in open access journals.
  • Publicize open access journals by using them in your own work and incorporating OA articles into your syllabi.
  • Read more, become informed. A good place to start is here.
  • Contact us for more information