Make a journal article free to all readers immediately upon publication: the Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) supports faculty members, post-docs, and graduate students who want to make journals open access.
Find out what journals charge to make articles immediately available. See Selective List of Open Access Fees.
Open access defined
Open-access (OA) literature is free, digital, and available to anyone online. An open-access article has limited copyright and licensing restrictions which means anyone, anywhere, with access to the Internet may read, download, copy, and distribute that article.
As with any scholarly article — traditional or otherwise — authors of an open-access article should be properly acknowledged and cited.
More readers, greater impact
Open access provides barrier-free access to information. Researchers from anywhere in the world can read scholarly output that has been made available in an open-access journal. A wider audience, in turn, has the potential to increase the impact of the research presented in an open-access article. A 2006 study by a University of Southampton researcher, Evaluating Research Impact through Open Access to Scholarly Communication, found that authors receive 50-250% more citations.
The economics of open access
While open access is free to readers, open access is not free of production costs. As with traditional academic journals published by commercial firms, articles published in open-access journals must be peer-reviewed, edited, distributed, marketed, etc.
The two main economic models for open-access publishing are:
- Publication fees: Also referred to as "author fees," some OA journals charge publication fees. Similar to page charges, a publication fee is required as payment – usually in the range of $1000 to $2500 – to publish an article. Think of publication fees as part of the cost of doing research, and the cost can be borne by the funding agency. If an author cannot afford the fee, most OA publishers, are willing to waive the cost.
Many funding agencies support open access. For a list of research funders' open access policies, consult SHERPA/Juliet.
- Institutional fees: Some open-access journals are funded by institutional fees. The University of California, for instance, pays an institutional membership to BioMed Central and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) which gives UC authors a discount on their publication fees. Consult the list of publishers with whom UC has an institutional membership for more information.
How to make your article open access
Gold OA (immediate access)
Green OA (self-archiving)