What is an Open Access Journal?
An Open Access (OA) journal is a scholarly journal that is available online to readers “without financial, legal or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself” (Wikipedia, “Open Access Journal,” 4-29-10). There are some modifications of open access journals that have different natures: hybrid open access journals and delayed open access journals.
OA journal publishers use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions (e.g., libraries) for access. While it might be much less expensive to produce and publish OA literature, this publishing option does have costs. The OA journal funding model uses two different revenue streams:
- No-fee open access journals that are subsidized by an academic institution or a government information center, and
- Fee-based open access journals that require payment on behalf of the author. This fee is typically financed by funds made available to researchers from a public or private funding agency, as part of a research grant, or by the researcher’s employer.
“Wikipedia, “Open Access Journal,” 4-29-10
Open Access Overview
Budapest Open Access Initiative
Suber, Peter (November 2, 2006). "No-fee open-access journals." SPARC Open Access Newsletter. http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/11-02-06.htm#nofee.