Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) refers to digital, scholarly content that is available online and accessible to anyone with the technological means of accessing it. OA literature is available free of charge and has few, if any, copyright or licensing restrictions. OA aims to remove pricing and copyright barriers to equalize access to information across the globe.

Types of Open Access

Gold Open Access
  • Gold OA occurs when an author publishes their work in an open access journal. There are no subscription fees to access the resources through a Gold OA journal.
  • OA journals conduct peer review of the submitted articles and are the same caliber and content as traditionally published journals. Public Library of Science and BioMedCentral are examples of OA journals.
Green Open Access
  • Green OA refers to institutional or scholarly repositories that offer open access to that institution’s resources.  The works in the repository may be the finalized version of a work, or it can be a draft of a work before it is edited and peer reviewed.
  • Runner Research Press (RRP) is UTSA's scholarly repository and is an example of Green OA.

Benefits of Open Access

Promote the Free Flow of Ideas and Information
  • COVID-19 has proven the importance of being able to quickly share research results across the globe. If research is locked behind paywalls, it can impede scientific progress.
  • By making a concerted effort to publish OA, you can contribute to the advancement of human knowledge in a meaningful way.
Increases the Visibility of Research
  • By removing pricing and copyright barriers, more people have access to OA research than traditional journals.
  • This is important not only for laypeople, but for researchers and students across the world from resource-scares institutions.
Citation Advantage
  • There is some evidence that open access works are cited more often than those that are not open.
Allows for Compliance with Funder Mandates
  • Many major funders, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), require publications that result from their grants be publicly available through an open access repository.

An interview on Open Access to research journals with Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Jack Andraka, the 16-year-old inventor of a breakthrough cancer diagnostic and winner of the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.