You've heard about open access, and know it's an option. But what would make you as a researcher choose to publish in an open access journal or deposit your work into an open access repository? Here are some of the most important reasons.
Benefits of publishing in an open access venue:
- Increased visibility, usage, and impact of your research
- More efficient dissemination compared with traditional publishing models
- Retention of some or all of your copyrights
- Contribution to societal good by providing scholarly content to a global audience
- Rigour of traditional peer-review before publication
- Ongoing feedback through social media
It may be required
Many funding agencies require or encourage open access to research published based on work they fund. The Canadian Tri-Agencies (SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR) have introduced an open access requirement to publications arising from all awards granted after May 1, 2015. Many funding agencies in the US and the UK have similar requirements.
CIHR and other funding agencies also have policies requiring research data to be made publicly available.
To learn more:
- How to comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications
- Summary of major US funder open access policies (from MIT)
- Research Councils UK Policy on Open Access
- Locate the open access policy for a research funder with the SHERPA/Juliet database or with ROARMAP
- Research data services (McGill Library)
Open research helps everyone
As stated in the introduction to the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, "Societal advancement is made possible through widespread and barrier-free access to cutting-edge research and knowledge, enabling researchers, scholars, clinicians, policymakers, private sector and not-for-profit organizations and the public to use and build on this knowledge...Open access enables researchers to make their publications freely available to the domestic and international research community and to the public at large, thereby enhancing the use, application and impact of research results."
To learn more:
McGill Library supports Open Access
McGill Library also supports several open access initiatives including:
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
- Heritage Project
- Knowledge Unlatched
- Open Book Publishers
- Open Library of the Humanities (OLH)
- Public Knowledge Project (PKP)