Western Libraries

Open Access

Open access is a principle by which content is made available online free of charge and with minimal copyright and licensing restrictions.  Open access scholarly publishing can:

  • incorporate peer review
  • enhance the visibility and accessibility of authors' intellectual outputs
  • contribute to knowledge sharing and the advancement of scholarship

The following resources elaborate on what open access is.

General Discussions

Open Access

This video provides a quick introduction to open access. 

Voices of Open Access

This video explains why people in different professions support open access.  

Open Access Overview

This is an informative introduction to open access.

The Age of Open Access: New Paradigm for Universities and Researchers

This is a video of a panel discussion about challenges and opportunities for universities and researchers in the digital age.

Understanding Open Access in the Academic Environment: A Guide for Authors

This guide aims to introduce academic authors to the principles, benefits, and implementation of open access.

Right to Research: The Student Guide to Opening Access to Scholarship

Targeted at students of higher education, this brochure explains the significance of open access with respect to student research.  

Research Funders’ Access Policies

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance

National Cancer Institute of Canada

National Institutes of Health (U.S.)

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Le Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec

SHERPA JULIET (Research Funders’ Open Access Policies)

This is a directory of research funding agencies’ policies of open access requirements for grant recipients. 

Open Access Journal Publishing

Developing Open Access Journals: A Practical Guide

This online guide outlines and discusses various issues that should be addressed in the process of developing an open access journal.  It is the abridged version of a book with the same title, which is available at The D.B. Weldon Library.  The author of the book, David Solomon, and his colleague, Caroline Sutton, have also made other useful resources freely available online. 

Open-access Journal Publishing Resource Index

This site directs readers to useful online resources for open access journal publishing.  

Guides for OA Journal Publishers

As part of the Open Access Directory, this page presents a list of guidelines, primers, recommendations, and best practices for open access journal publishers. 

OA Journal Business Models

As part of the Open Access Directory, this is a list of business models and revenue sources for open access journals.

Income Models for Open Access

This is a guide that examines the economic sustainability of open access publishing.

Directory of Open Access Journals

This site indexes and provides links to open access journals published in various languages.  The content of some indexed journals is searchable and retrievable via this site.

Updates and Further Readings

Digital & Scholarly Blog

This blog aims to alert readers to news and resources about scholarly publishing and relevant topics such as author rights, peer review, and publication impact.

Open Access Tracking Project

This is a social tagging project that provides up-to-date and comprehensive coverage of open access and scholarly publishing issues.

The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship

This book discusses the benefits and challenges of providing free online access to scholarly publications.  A copy of this title is available at The D.B. Weldon Library.

A Field Guide to Misunderstandings about Open Access

This guide addresses 25 most common misunderstandings about open access.

ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit

This toolkit provides an overview of scholarly publishing issues and discusses what can be done to address them.  It also presents a variety of online resources for a deeper understanding of topics such as open access, author rights, and copyright.

Open Access Directory

This wiki provides listings of online resources about open access.

Open Access Webliography

This is a Web-based bibliography that presents a wide range of free online resources about the open access movement.