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Copyright: Open Access

What is the Open Access philosophy?

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) gives us a succinct explanation of what Open Access (OA) philosophy:

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.

This means that if you are the author of a paper or study, there are options available to you to help ensure greater accessibility to your scholarly work. This does involve giving up some degree of rights controlling the distribution of your work, depending on how you choose to publish.

If you are a consumer or would-be author, you may freely download and read journal articles, studies, theses, dissertations, and various other scholarly works that are published in an open access journal or repository.

What are Open Access journals and repositories?

An open access journal is a peer-reviewed publication, much like your typical scholarly journal. The contents of the journal, however, are made publicly accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. The publication process for an OA journal is similar to most other journals, though the author or author's institution may be charged a fee prior to publication.
 
An open access repository (or open archive) is a digital platform that acts as a gateway to an institution's collection of open research. Submissions are still subjected to a peer review process. The scope of a repository is often less focused on a particular discipline when compared to a journal. The University of South Carolina's open access repository is called Scholar Commons.

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