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Ask A Librarian

Open Access

This guide provides an overview of Open Access and related issues.

Publishing Open Access

Making your work Open Access doesn't require publishing with an OA journal. Most publishers allow you to deposit your pre-prints and/or accepted manuscripts in open access repositories. To make your work open, publish in the journal of your choice, and then submit your pre-print or accepted manuscript to the Research Repository @ WVU. This allows researchers who do not have subscription access to read your work. 

If you publish in an open access journal, then your article is already available to everyone. However, we still encourage to you submit to the Research Repository to archive your work, and increase its discoverability. 

Open Access Journals

There are a growing number of open access journals across all disciplines as well as interdisciplinary open access journals. Just as you would when publishing in a traditional journal, you should carefully evaluate different publications to make sure you select the most appropriate venue for your work. Here are some resources for helping work through this process:

Your subject librarian will also be happy to work with you to identify the best journal for your work.

Be aware that some journals charge authors Article Processing Charges (APCs), sometimes called publication fees, to make work Open Access. These fees are used to cover publishing costs that would normally be covered by subscription fees. Many grant funders will allow you to include publication fees in grant requests. Funding for Open Access publication is also available through the Eberly College Faculty Development Program (limited to Eberly College faculty) and the WVU Libraries Open Access Author Fund

Open Access Repositories

If you publish work in a subscription journal, you can still make your work open by depositing a version of your article in an open access repository. In addition to WVU's Research Repository, many fields have developed discipline-specific repositories: 

  • arXiv is housed at Cornell University and contains papers in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics.
  • bioRxiv is modeled after arXiv and serves as a pre-print server for papers in biology and related fields
  • RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) is a decentralized database of working papers, journal articles, book chapters, and other works in economics and related disciplines. 
  • SSRN (formerly Social Science Research Network) is a repository for research in the social sciences and humanities. It was purchased by Elsevier in 2016. 
  • PubMed Central is an open access repository of biomedical and life sciences research hosted by the National Library of Medicine. 
  • CORE: Open Access for the Humanities is an interdisciplinary repository for humanities research maintained by Humanities Commons. 
  • OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) is a searchable database of disciplinary and institutional repositories. 

If you would like assistance locating the appropriate repository for your work, contact your subject librarian