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Open Access & Scholarly Communication: OA for Faculty

Resources on open access and scholarly communication.

Open Access Publishing

Open access journals are more discoverable by scholars and the public than their non-OA counterparts. This increases the likelihood that others will find the material, thus aiding in the wider dissemination of the work and the potential impact of the article. 

The OA advantage is real, independent, and causal, but skewed. Its size is correlated with quality, just as citations themselves are (the top 20% of articles receive about 80% of all citations).

Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research PLoS One (2010).

Why Publish with Open Access?

Produced by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and McGill University Library.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Making Your Article OA after Publishing: Finding Permissions

Sherpa Romeo is a database of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement. You can search the database by journal title, ISSN, or by publisher to determine what a publisher will allow you to archive in an institutional repository or on a personal website under their standard agreement.

Sherpa Juliet is a similar database, focused on funders rather than publishers. You can search the database to find out funders' conditions for open access, publication, and data archiving.


DigitalCommons@Linfield uses the terms originally set forth by the VERSIONS Project at the London School of Economics to identify article versions in the repository. You might want to use these terms when you save your article versions, especially the accepted version, so you can deposit the version for which you have permission in the repository.

Suggested version names for journal articles.

  1. Draft: Early version circulated as work in progress
  2. Submitted Version: The version that has been submitted to a journal for peer review
  3. Accepted Version: The author-created version that incorporates reviewer comments and is the accepted for publication version
  4. Published Version: The publisher-created published version
  5. Updated Version: A version updated since publication

Helpful hints on how to track versions:

  1. Plan for how you will store and name your personal versions of files from this point forward.
  2. Permanently retain your author-created Submitted Versions and final author-created Accepted Versions of publications
  3. Add the date of manuscript completion to the first page of any version you create

Explore the VERSIONS Toolkit for authors, researchers, and repository staff.

Who Is Choosing OA Publishing?

How can I find others in my field who are publishing open access?

Ask around at your next conference and look for repository links in their slides.

Search for colleagues on their own institutional repositories. It is typical to be able to search by author or department.

Use Google Scholar. By doing a keyword search, you can identify relevant papers or people and look for links to repositories or personal webpages to the right of each result, or select the 'all (number) versions' link next to the article. By scanning the locations you can locate copies in repositories and on personal web pages.


Negotiating Copyright with Publishers Prior to Publication

Signing the publisher's copyright transfer agreement may limit how you want to share your scholarship.

  • Share with fellow researchers
  • Use in a class
  • Deposit in a digital repository

Already 90% of journals will allow authors to self-archive in some way. If you want to retain more or specific rights, try The Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine. This tool will help you generate a PDF form you can attach to a journal publisher's copyright agreement as a way to ensure you retain the rights you need to make your article open access.

Book publishing has its own set of terms to navigate. The Authors Alliance provides a primer on this subject: Understanding and Negotiating Book Publishing Contracts.

If You Hold the Copyright:

Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. CC provides free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.

About the licenses

Sharing Data

Why Should I Share My Research Data?

Data sharing achieves many important goals for the scientific community, such as

  • reinforcing open inquiry
  • encouraging diversity of analysis and opinion
  • promoting new research, testing of new or alternative hypotheses and methods of analysis
  • supporting studies on data collection methods and measurement
  • facilitating education of new researchers
  • enabling the exploration of topics not envisioned by the initial investigators
  • permitting the creation of new datasets by combining data from multiple sources
  • preserving your data
  • complying with funding mandates

How do I share my data?

What forms can data take? Here are a few examples, including common file formats:

  • Text (e.g., doc, txt, pdf)
  • Numerical (e.g., SPSS, STATA, .xls, Access, MySQL)
  • Multimedia (e.g., jpeg, tiff, wav, mpeg, Quicktime)
  • Models (e.g., 3D, statistical)
  • Software (e.g., Java, C)
  • Domain-specific (e.g., FITS in astronomy, CIF in chemistry)
  • Instrument-specific (e.g., Olympus Confocal Microscope Data Format)

Copyright and data sharing:

Data cannot be licensed, but Creative Commons CC0 (CC Zero) can be used to indicate that it is the public domain.  CC0 is "a universal public domain dedication that may be used by anyone wishing to permanently surrender the copyright and database rights (where they exist) they may have in a work, thereby placing it as nearly as possible into the public domain."