Center for the Advancement of Digital Scholarship (CADS)

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate online access to research and scholarly information.  OA is a different way of looking at the distribution of information, particularly when information is treated as a commodity.  This concept has the potential to revolutionize the scholarly process and the way research and scientific inquiry take place. There are direct and widespread implications for academia, industry, medicine, science, and society overall.

Several studies have shown that articles available via open access are cited in scholarly publications much more than articles available only through paid access.

Open Access 101, from SPARC from Karen Rustad on Vimeo.

Did you know…

Hajjem, Harnad, and Gingras analyzed more than 1 million articles published over a 10-year period and their findings show that articles openly available on the web were cited 36-172% more than articles available only through paid access.

How is it beneficial?

  • Undergraduates will have an easier time finding information for course work;

  • Graduate students can make their dissertations freely available online to other interested researchers and potential employers;

  • Faculty can increase awareness and impact of their research programs and publications and find potential collaborators;

  • Universities and libraries can trim costs for journal subscriptions and foster their goals of disseminating information.

  • Journal publishers can benefit from the increased visibility and “discoverability” of OA articles.

Open Access Initiatives

The Libraries are involved in several initiatives that support open access.