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Research Guides

Open Access Publishing

The Open Access Advantage

Advocates and scholars of Open Access publishing cite several benefits of this form of publishing, including:

  • Increased discoverability of articles by potential readers worldwide because: (a) the research is found more easily via Internet searches; and (b) the research is available to all potential readers without a prior subscription or payment;
  • Earlier access to OA research versus traditional publishing channels that have longer lag times between acceptance and dissemination
  • Increased downloads and readership of OA articles because the full text is available online for free

Additionally, some OA advocates theorize that the above OA advantages also lead to an article citation advantage. However, the verdict on this theory is still out, with some studies showing a citation benefit for OA published articles and others finding little correlation.

Further information about the Open Access Advantage may be found in the following recommended resources:

Swan, Alma, 2010,The Open Access Citation Advantage: studies and results to date,”

Wagner, A. Ben, “Open Access Citation Advantage: An Annotated Bibliography,” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship Winter 2010

What works are available via Open Access?

As a method of access and use, Open Access publishing is being used across a wide spectrum of material types and subject areas.  Some of the most commonly found Open Access resources include:

  • Scholarly and scientific journals, including many peer-reviewed titles
  • Academic and scholarly books
  • Textbooks
  • Fiction and non-fiction literature
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Digital repositories
  • Software