By publishing open access or making a version of your published work available open access, you are providing free, unrestricted online access to scholarly materials that a number of people - including professional practitioners, industry workers and people in institutions and countries that are unable to afford subscriptions - would not otherwise have.
There are many avenues for publishing open access, and a good resource is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), which lists the journals and publishers that facilitate this type of publishing.
The Guide to OA monograph publishing is a useful resource for those looking for information about open access monograph publishing.
To gain a broader understanding of open access publishing watch this short video produced by PHD Comics.
Open access journals - gold open access
Publishing in an open access journal often means an article is assigned a creative commons licence permitting it to be distributed openly across a number of networks. You may be required to pay the publisher an upfront fee, or author processing charge (APC), to make the work openly available on the web. Publishing in this way is typically referred to as Gold Open Access (JPG, 111 KB).
Subscription-based journals - green open access
Publishing in a traditional subscription-based journal means your published work is immediately available to journal subscribers.
Articles published in these journals can still be made open access by making a pre or post print version of your article available in an open access repository such as the University's Open Research Repository. This form of publishing is known as Green Open Access (JPG, 112 KB), or self-archiving.
Alternatively, an author payment charge (APC) can be paid for an article in a subscription journal to be made open access in that journal - this is known as hybrid publishing.
Paying for publication
At this time, ANU does not have a centrally administered fund to pay for open access publication. Check with your College research staff for available funds, and make sure you know your funder's policy in regard to using grant money for paying for publication.
While the benefits of open access publishing are undeniable, its evolution has seen the emergence of enterprises that run conferences and journals with low or no peer review or other quality mechanisms. These predatory publishers solicit contributions to reputable sounding journals and conferences promising publication, however they do not provide a quality contribution to careers.
The ANU University Librarian recently provided some practical advice to researchers on how to prevent exploitation by predatory or vanity publishers, reiterating three major tips:
- If you haven't heard of the journal or conference check with a colleague, or ask your local librarian.
- Don't believe the website - ask your colleagues and look at indicators of journal impact. The ANU Library's guide to Increasing your research impact also provides more infomation to help you.
- Don't respond to unsolicited emails - choose the journals you wish to submit to.