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Open Access FAQs

What is open access?

According to SPARC, "open access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open access ensures that anyone can access and use these results - to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives."  


Why open access? (from PLOS)

1. "Researchers can read and build on findings of others without restriction.

2. Much scientific and medical research is paid for with public funds. Open access allows taxpayers to see the results of their investment.

3. Open access means that teachers and their students have access to the latest research findings throughout the world."


Where can I learn more about open access?

It is strongly recommended that faculty and students read Peter Suber's free ebook. He is considered a guru in this field.


Do I still need to cite if I use any open access sources?

Definitely. Just like you use library databases or textbooks, you still need to follow a citation format for references. MLA and APA are two commonly used formats and you can learn more from Purdue OWL. Click on MLA or APA link at the bottom left.


How do I know the open access journal or database is credible?

All journals and databases have been screened based on academic librarian Jeffery Beall's list. No source you find here is on his list of potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers.


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