Open Access (OA): General Information on Resources, Instruction, & Publishing

Open Access (OA) Defined

What is Open Access (OA)?

Access is “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions” 
- Peter Suber (2004)

There are 3 main types of OA:

  • Gold OA is publishing in an open access journal.  This involves the author retaining copyright.  
  • Green OA is when an author is allowed to self-archive a copy of the work, usually in an institutional repository or a discipline-specific non-profit repository.  There are usually restrictions on the versions (preprint, postprint, final version)
  • Hybrid OA is when a publisher has a journal comprised of OA articles and fee based articles.  Authors have the option to pay the publisher to have their article deemed OA

Open Access is an academic philosophy, a manner of publishing, and a new element of academic publishing. Please review the items below and if you have questions, please contact us for more information. Please review this content, and the additional links on the left side of the page, for more information on using OA materials in your teaching, research, and publishing.

How to Add Your Work to an OA Repository

Tampa Campus

It is easy to add your work to Digital Commons @ USF, an open access repository hosted by the USF Libraries. Just email your current CV or list of publications to A member of the library team will begin adding records to Digital Commons @ USF and assist with updating your SelectedWorks page. Any open access articles will be added as full-text.

If you have any versions of your recent research you can send those too. Many publishers don't allow the final version to be added to a repository but they will allow the accepted manuscript (the version of your paper after peer review).

St. Petersburg Campus

To add work to Digital Commons @ USF contact your liaison librarian or the Scholarly Communications Librarian, Allison Symulevich at We can assist you with updating your SelectedWorks pages as well.

How to Find OA Materials

There are many different repositories available to help find open access materials. This means you can download articles regardless of library subscriptions. Additionally, there are browser plugins that can let you know if there is an open access version of an article available (Open Access Button and Unpaywall).

For more, please review the options on this guide. 

OA Publishing Fees

Some open access journals require publication fees. Please contact the USF Faculty Senate Publications Council to apply for subvention assistance of journal publication charges.

Why Should I Publish OA?

  • OA Citation Advantage
    • A number of studies have shown correlation between open access publishing and an increase in citations. For more information regarding the OA citation advantage, visit the References page.
  • Changing Landscape of Academic Publishing
    • Attitudes are changing about large publishers in academia as library budgets are shrinking and publishers' prices are increasing. Publishing OA can help avoid costs and provide better access to your publications, as well as maintain access to research. Some major universities have cut ties with large publishers.  For example, University of California ended its deal with Elsevier.  Shortly after, FSU followed suit.
  • Grant Compliance
    • Many funding agencies require that recipients of public funding for research purposes need to post their publications and findings on OA platforms to be publicly accessible. For example, in the US, NIH funding requires publication to PubMed no later than 12 months after the official date of publication. See NIH Public Access Policy implements Division F Section 217 of PL 111-8 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009). In Europe, Plan S requires immediate publication in OA journals or platforms. See

  • Copyright Ownership
    • Typically, open access journals allow authors to retain copyright of their work. Check the copyright policy or consider negotiating with journals to retain copyright, thus allowing authors to upload works into open access repositories like USF Tampa campus Scholar Commons or USF St. Petersburg campus Digital Archive.
  • No Paywall
    • Without paywalls, more people around the world can access your work. This can lead to more diverse audiences viewing your research as well.