What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) is a way of publishing your research, usually with limited copyright restrictions, that enables it to be freely accessible to the public. This method of publishing provides everyone with greater ability to access, view, build upon, and cite research.

While the OA model of publishing is an exciting and dynamic area of inquiry and practice (as are related topics such as open educational resources) it is also an established and respected mode of scholarship that has been around for nearly 30 years and almost always includes peer review by discipline experts. Many of the largest publishers now offer the option of publishing open access, and the number of full open access journals continues to expand.

Why OA?

The OA model of publishing is a better fit for the collaborative and technology-driven digital age. Benefits include:

In addition, hundreds of universities and colleges, including CU Boulder, maintain their own institutional repositories (IRs) where faculty, staff, and students can self-archive academic work. Learn more about open access repositories and self-archiving.


Visit the Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship, or connect with our Scholarly Communication Librarian about open access, copyright agreements, and compliance with public access policies.

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