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Open Access: Open Access

What is Open Access?

Why does Open Access matter?

When an author gets their article published by a major journal, the author does not retain their rights to that article, the publisher does. In order to access that article, an individual would need to get permission from the publisher and usually pay a fee for that access.

Many students, faculty, and researchers generally have "free" access to these articles through their colleges, universities, and institutions, but what they don't know is that the library, in many cases, actually pays a subscription fee to be able to access those particular articles.

Open Access eliminates the costly process of paying for articles both individually and through subscription models.

Types of Open Access

There are two ways to categorize the paths to delivering open access materials: Green and Gold Access.

Green Open Access refers to materials that are accessible through a repository or other pre-publication model.

Gold Open Access refers to materials that are directly available through a publisher.

Therefore, Gold Open Access is considered the most open way of publishing and providing materials openly.

Open Access Lock Symbol









Open Access Symbol, PLOS, CC BY SA 3.0

Open Access Explained!

By PHD TV. Animation by Jorge Cham Narration by Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen Transcription by Noel Dilworth Produced in partnership with the Right to Research Coalition, the Scholarly Publishing and Resources Coalition and the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. CC BY.

Open Access Journals

Open Access Journals and Journal Articles can be accessed through CCBC's SmartSearch. They may come up in various formats but a librarian can help you get access and explain where the article is coming from. You can also look at the Directory of Open Access Journals to see the many Open Access journals that exist.

Librarians support Open Access for our students and faculty!

Check out CCBC's very own Open Access Journal: TALES

cover image of TALES journal


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