Open Access (OA) sources developed in response to advances in digital technology and substantial subscription price increases by publishers.
OA sources have several characteristics that set them apart from the traditional publications found in EBSCOhost, ProQuest, or LexisNexis.
- Online—OA sources do not have hard copy equivalents, they are available exclusively online.
- Immediate—there are no embargo periods or having to wait for an online version of an article to become available on a database.
- Free—You are not charged directly to use the Library’s databases. They are paid for indirectly through your tuition, this is an example of a transparent cost. OA sources are not paid for by users or intermediaries, such as database providers. Costs are borne by authors, sponsoring institutions, professional societies, or other parties at the production part of the publishing process.
- None-to-some copyright and licensing restrictions—by placing few, if any restraints on OA published works, authors hope to acquire as broad a readership as possible. This does not mean OA materials can be plagiarized.
- Low-to-no rights to use—with some modest restrictions, articles can be shared among all interested readers and researchers, not just subscribers to a publication or database.
Open Access is the most exciting and expanding segment of the scholarly publishing market. Journal options are growing to include virtually all major disciplines and professions.