An Open Access primer to get you started

Open Access Basics

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How to implement open access and open science

  • What is Open Access?

    Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen take you through the world of open access publishing and explain just what it's all about.

  • How to provide open access?

    There are two equal ways you can provide open access to publication:

    1. Depositing your peer-reviewed manuscript in a trusted open access repository.
    2. Selecting a reputable open access journal to publishing your research.

    In either case even when publishing in an open access journal it’s a good idea to also deposit a version in an open access repository.

  • How to find a suitable open access journal?


    Use the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ, - a community-curated online directory that indexes over 11,000 high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. You can search DOAJ content using facets on the left-hand side of the website and next to search box: search by ISSN, subject, license, publisher, full text language, date added, DOI, author, title, keywords, and country.

    Over 70% of DOAJ journals do not charge article processing charges (APC) - publication fees charged to authors, but often covered by their institution or funder, to make publications immediately open access -  check Researchers in any country can request a fee waiver if unable to pay APC. Making your research open access does not have to cost anything. By depositing your articles in a repository or finding an open access journal that does not charge APCs, you can provide open access for free.

  • How to be sure that you can trust a particular journal?

     think check submit

    Use the checklist to assess the journal and submit your article only if you can answer ‘yes’ to the questions on this checklist.

    If in doubt, it is a good idea to discuss your publishing options with your supervisor or manager, librarians, and colleagues who focus on scholarly communication issues in your field.

    Still not sure? Check if the journal's publisher is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publisher's Association (OASPA) and adheres to the OASPA Professional Code of Conduct.

    You could also evaluate how well the journal meets the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing, a list of criteria developed jointly by the DOAJ, OASPA, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME).

  • How to find a suitable repository for your publications

    Publish where you want

    Publish in open journals, or in the journal of your choice and archive a free copy.


    Self-archiving, or green Open Access, means you publish in the journal of your choice and deposit a copy of the manuscript in an Open Access repository.  It’s legal and free, check the self-archiving policy of your journal using publisher copyright policies & self-archiving tool SHERPA RoMEO


    Remember to keep preprint and postprint versions of your articles. Preprints are all the versions of an academic article or other publication before it has been submitted for peer review, while the postprint is the form of the article after all the peer review changes are in place. Preprints and postprints are usually the versions of your paper that could be deposited in open access repositories.

    oabirdYou could also use Dissemin that detects papers behind paywalls and invites their authors to upload them in one click to an open repository.


    Remember, that you can negotiate the terms of your publishing agreement. OpenAIRE encourages researchers to choose publishers that let them retain their author rights, so that immediate access can be provided. SPARC provides a template addendum [pdf] to publication agreement that describes the rights you want to retain. More info is available here.

    sparc author contractsparc author rights

    Use your institutional repository to deposit your publication

    Need help locating it? Use one of the following services:

     Still not finding a repository of your choice?

    zenodo1Use Zenodo, OpenAIRE's universal repository hosted at CERN. Zenodo is an international repository, fully compatible with OpenAIRE requirements.

  • What’s the difference between ResearchGate,, and an institutional repository?

    OArepos vs researchernets

    More iformation:

    Still have doubts about open research? Check out the Why Open Research website

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OpenAIRE has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreements No. 777541 and 101017452 (see all).

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