Open Access in Scholarly Communication

Open Access, which encompasses Open Science, Open Data, and Open Education, is devoted to opening up the research process for quicker dissemination of knowledge and rapid discovery by making scholarly information available online, free and unrestricted. 

One of the outcomes of the Open Access Movement is the Open Access Journals, a sustainable paradigm of scholarly publishing.  In contrast to the Subscription Access Journals, this new model allows any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full-text of journal articles without paying fees.  OA journals are compatible with all features and supportive services associated with conventional scholarly publishing, including copyright, peer review, quality, indexing, and preservation, etc.  The legal basis for OA to provide barrier-free access is the consent of the copyright holder.  Many authors of OA journals are copyright holders and give permissions to unrestricted reading, downloading and sharing their OA articles while retaining rights to prevent plagiarism, misrepresentation, and sometimes commercial re-use.  The benefit from Open Access enjoyed by authors and readers are obvious.  The broader audience increases authors’ visibility and impact of their work.   It also gives readers barrier-free access to literature which otherwise may be restricted by payments.  Many wonder if OA journals would put journal publishers out of business.  As a matter of fact, publishers are now taking advantage of the visibility generated by OA to attract subscriptions, submissions, readers and citations by providing OA to selected articles in each issue and all back issues. 

Efforts have been taken by the RWU Library to support OA publishing.  Faculty and students are encouraged to publish in OA journals, and to negotiate rights to participate in the RWU DigitalCommons, the RWU open access institutional repository.  For more information, please consult: