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Open Access & Scholarly Communications

open access, ojs, Knowledge Commons etc. - research services for faculty

What is open access?

"Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment" (SPARC, 2022)


"Green", "Gold" and "Hybrid": a clarification of different publishing models



Green open access (“self-archiving”)

Gold open access

Hybrid open access

Is the whole journal open access, or does openness vary paper-to-paper?

Irrelevant - green open access is available either way 

The whole journal is open access

Openness varies paper-to-paper. 

Which version of paper available to public?

Draft or final version

Final version 

Final version

When is the paper made available to the public?

Immediately, or after an “embargo period”, usually between 6 months and 2 years, depending on the publisher.



Where is the paper made available to the public?

Usually via author upload to institutional repositories,  personal webpages and/or in subject repositories such as PubMed Central. 

The publisher’s website (in addition to other platforms and sites). 

The publisher’s website (in addition to other platforms and sites). 

Is there a fee?


Almost always

Almost always

These are generalizations, policies may vary publisher to publisher.

SPARC Canadian author addendum

Publication agreements with journal publishers usually transfer the copyright of an article to that publisher.  The SPARC Canadian author addendum is a PDF file that an author can sign and attach to a publisher's agreement.

The agreement states that the author retains certain non-commerical rights such as the right to make copies for a class or to post the article on a personal or institutional web site while transferring the copyright to the publisher.

How to find open access journals

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is the largest collection of open access journals.  

Some publishers also maintain lists of their own open access journals such as:

How to find open access repositories:

The Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) maintains a list of academic repositories.  You can search by repository name, institution or by searching the contents (i.e. article title or author name).

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries maintains a list of Canadian academic repositories.

Simmons maintains a list of discipline-based repositories and you may also find repositories on individual university's websites.