Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) to scholarly journal articles and other works means that these are accessible at no cost on a journal website or in a repository committed to long-term archiving, and available for all to read, download, print, copy, and share.

Why Make Your Scholarship Open Access?

Evidence suggests that journal articles that are openly available on the Internet are cited more frequently than articles with restricted access. As early as 2001, an article in Nature investigating the impact of access to conference articles in computer science found that the more highly-cited articles were those freely available online. Since then, studies in a variety of fields—including philosophy, political science, and physics—have shown that OA articles are cited more often than those that are not open. (For a list of such studies and a summary of their findings see The Open Access Citation Advantage.)

Benefits of OA

  • OA improves the pace, efficiency, and efficacy of research
  • OA increases authors’ visibility, and thus the potential impact of their work
  • OA removes structural and geographical barriers that impede the free circulation of information
  • OA increases the possibility of collaboration, which means there is a higher likelihood of better work and more capacity building.
  • OA enables the re-use and analysis of published material to build new knowledge
  • OA sparks innovation and facilitates interdisciplinary research and exchange of ideas
  • OA strengthens the dissemination, review, and development of breakthroughs, not only for the benefit of research and academic communities but for society at large.

Science Europe Working Group on Open Access. (Revised September 2015). Science Europe Principles on Open Access to Research Publications. Licensed under CC BY 4.0. D/2015/13.324/3

Open Access at SUNY Oneonta

On March 22, 2018, the SUNY Board of Trustees adopted an Open Access Policies and System Repository resolution. The resolution directs all SUNY colleges and universities to develop campus-specific open access policies by March 31, 2020. SUNY Oneonta has convened an ad hoc Open Access Policy Committee that includes membership from myriad campus stakeholders. The Committee will consult with shared governance to develop an open access policy that recognizes SUNY Oneonta’s unique mission and academic culture, includes faculty author protections, and incorporates best practices as outlined in the SUNY BOT Resolution.

Learn more: see our handout: “Six Things You Need To Know About Open Access”.

Your comments, suggestions and questions are welcomed; email the Open Access Policy Committee at

Green and Gold OA Publishing

Open Access publishing process.


Green Open Access is free online access to peer-reviewed articles and other research and scholarly materials provided by the author (self-archived, or published in an institutional repository). The SUNY Open Access Initiative is a Green Open Access model, meaning that faculty authors are free to publish in whichever journals and with any publishers – just as they always have.


Some SUNY Oneonta faculty are choosing to make their scholarship openly available by publishing in open access journals. There are full open access journals (such as those from Public Library of Science and BioMed Central) and hybrid journals (such as those published by the American Chemical Society, Oxford University Press, and Springer), where some articles are open access and others are restricted to subscribers or members.

Concerns and Misconceptions of OA

  • Reputable publications are not OA Submission standards and the peer review process are completely separate from whether or not the publication is OA. If you want to choose a prestigious publication that is not OA, the journal will likely permit you to deposit a pre-print of your publication in an OA repository. The DOAJ has quality control guidelines for journals and authors that must be approved before they will add a journal to their directory. Studies have found that OA publications are cited more than traditional publications.
  • Authors have to pay to make their publications OA Estimates are that between 25-35% of OA journals charge publication fees (known as Article Processing Charges or APCs). These fees help cover the costs of hosting, review and editing. A few things to keep in mind: fees can often be paid by funders or your college, rather than out of your own pocket. Also, you can negotiate with traditional publishers to make preprints and postprints of your work available in an OA repository, for no charge.
  • Someone can steal and publish your work if you make it OA Your work is still protected by copyright when it is in an OA publication, just as it would be as if it was published through traditional means. If someone does copy your work without attributing it to you, you have a copyright infringement case. Attribution is still required for OA content
  • A lot of OA Publishers are considered predatory There have always been vanity presses and publishers who are more interested in making a profit than supporting and promoting excellent research and scholarship. OA has its share of questionable publishers. There are several resources that you can consult to determine if an OA publisher is credible or predatory:

SUNY Open Access

Open Access Resources

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