What Is Open Access?
"Open access" is free, unrestricted, online access to scientific and scholarly research. There are two primary vehicles for providing open access: open access journals, and open access archives or repositories, such as eScholarship@UMMS.
The purpose of this guide is to provide resources and information to the UMass Medical School community about open access and new models of scholarly publishing.
Read A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access, by open access advocate Peter Suber.
PhD Comics Explains Open Access
8-minute animated video explaining open access and why it's important, from PhD Comics
Facts and Figures (as of September 30, 2014)
(Inspired by Heather Morrison's Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series)
- Over 2,200 academic peer-reviewed open access books from 70 publishers
- 2700 academic open access research repositories
PubMed Central (PMC)
- 3.2 million free full-text biomedical and life sciences articles are archived in PubMed Central
Public Library of Science (PLOS)
- 53 Nobel laureates as authors, through 2013 (more stats available in their 2014 progress update)
- UMMS authors have published 300 articles in BioMed Central journals
- 430 billion web pages, 1.7 million videos, 133,000 concerts, 2 million audio recordings, 6.5 million texts
NIH Public Access Update
NIH Steps Up Enforcement of Public Access Policy
On November 16, 2012, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it is tightening enforcement of its policy requiring that investigators deposit copies of their papers in a public archive. Starting as soon as next spring, researchers who haven't complied will not receive the next installment of their grant. Read more:
Help Us Celebrate Open Access Week!
Open Access Information Table
Monday - Friday, October 20-24, 2014
Lamar Soutter Library
Open Access Week Kick-Off Webcast: “Generation Open”, hosted by SPARC
Monday, October 20, 2014
Lamar Soutter Library Classroom
2014 InteropIT Conference & Expo - Open Access Exhibit Table
Friday, October 24, 2014
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Medical School Lobby and Faculty Conference Room
All events are free and open to the entire UMMS/UMMHC community.
In the News
(Nature News, August 6, 2014) The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has tightened its listing criteria to weed out rogue or "predatory" journals.
(Open and Shut? Blog, May 4, 2014) Richard Poynder's extensive interview with Kathleen Shearer, Executive Director of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR). Shearer believes that any investment made in OA repositories today will more than pay for itself in the long term.
(SPARC, March 12, 2014) "Earlier this week, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) introduced the H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act....Among many troubling provisions, the bill includes language on public access that SPARC strongly opposes. The language, contained in Section 303 of the bill, would impose significant barriers to the public’s ability to access the results of taxpayer-funded research, be a step backward from existing federal policy in the directive, and put the U.S. at a severe disadvantage among our global competitors."
Why Open Access?
Video: How Open Access Empowered a 16-Year-Old to Make Cancer Breakthrough ... 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.
- Better visibility and higher impact for scholarship. Research has shown that articles available freely online are more often cited and have greater impact than those not freely available. Alma Swan's Feb. 2010 study, "The Open Access citation advantage: Studies and results to date," summarizes the methodologies and conclusions reached by studies looking at the citation advantage of open access. Summary data indicates a 300-450% increase in citations in Medicine with open access.
- More knowledge leads to better patient outcomes. Opening access to research will allow all doctors access to relevant information for decision making, leading to more effective treatments and better outcomes. Access to medical research is also crucial for patients and patient advocates.
- Return on the public's investment in taxpayer-funded research. Open access allows the public to see the results of that investment.
- To help achieve science's full potential by removing price barriers. With open access, researchers worldwide can read and build on the findings of others without restriction.
- Improved education. Faculty and students will not be limited by the selection of scholarly journals their campus libraries are able to provide.
"A Story to Tell": Read this short piece that tells the true story of a physician's efforts to nationally distribute an operating room checklist that could potentially save thousands of lives - complicated by the fact that the authors had signed over their copyrights to a publisher.
"Why I Don’t Care About Open Access to Research—and Why You Should": A systems biologist explains why researchers should care about open access in light of the changes taking place in science publishing. (Pacific Standard, January 31, 2014)
Students and Open Access
The Right to Research Coalition (R2RC), a student organization formed in 2009 with nearly 7 million members, has published a student guide to open access publishing: “Optimize Your Publishing, Maximize Your Impact.” This resource presents students with the ways in which they can make their research openly available for the widest possible readership and lays out the benefits of doing so – both as authors and as readers. This is a great resource for student authors.
Also check out Three Things Students Can Do Now to Promote Open Access from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Dr. Hong Yu on Open Access
Now on Twitter
"Green" Open Access: Depositing your publication in an open access repository, such as eScholarship@UMMS ("self-archiving")
"Gold" Open Access: Publishing in open access journals
"Hybrid" Open Access: An option now offered by many traditional publishers where an author can pay a publication fee to make an article open access.
Embargo: A fixed delay between the time a publication or data is deposited into a repository and the time it is made public
Version Terminology: Here are generally accepted definitions for a journal article in its various versions as it moves through the publication process:
- Pre-print: Version first submitted to publisher, before peer review
- Post-print: Final version after peer review, AKA "accepted manuscript". This is the version mandated in the NIH public access policy and in most institutional open access mandates.
- Publisher's version/PDF: Copyedited version with publisher's formatting and paging
Open Access for the Deeply Confused
Science Groupie's excellent blog post explaining open access.