5 Things You Need to Know About Open Access

Graphic that reads: 
"Open Access Week 2020
Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion
October 19–25"
Graphic from http://www.openaccessweek.org/page/graphics

Open Access Week 2020 (October 19 –23), is being commemorated globally with different events. This year’s theme is “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion.”

The Osgoode Digital Commons Team as part of the events will be posting a series of open access themed blogs throughout this week. The first blog post features and highlights “5 things you need to know about Open Access”. 

5 Things You Need to Know about Open Access
1. What is Open Access? 
Open Access has been severally defined. Peter Suber in his 2013 outstanding Academic Title Open Access refers to OA literature as “...digital, online free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” 

Open Access removes not just financial and technical barriers from accessing research publications, it makes them available without geographical borders on the Internet. 

Open Access among legal scholars continues to evolve. The Osgoode Digital Commons continues to contribute to the Open A movement by making faculty research and impact visible and discoverable all over the world.  

2. Definition of Preprint, Post Print and Published Versions  
The following illustration is a graphic definition of the PPP versions in Open Access. It is important to take note of these definitions to give authors a broader understanding of their rights when signing publisher agreements.  The Post Print version is the one authors should deposit with institutional repositories. 

Graphic separated into three sections.

- Preprint (subheading)
- Submitted versions
- Author’s final version
- Before peer review

Post print (subheading)
- Accepted version
- Accepted by publisher
- After peer review

Published (subheading)
- Final published version in print or digital

3. Open Access Options - Gold OA & Green OA 
It is important to note these terminologies when you're thinking of adding your research to a digital repository. 

Yellow arrow with text that reads “Gold OA” and green arrow with text that reads “Green OA”.

The Gold Open Access is an article that is published in an Open Access or hybrid journal. The publishing process may include "article publishing costs” (APCs) paid by the author. 

The Green Open Access is an article that is archived and posted on an institutional repository after it’s been published. It could be any of the versions – preprint, post print or published. 

4. The Tri-Agency Policy & Sherpa Romeo
In 2016, the 3 federal granting agencies in Canada released the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. This policy mandates all grant recipients to make “any publications arising from agency funded research freely accessible within 12 months of publication”.  

Sherpa Romeo
This is an online searchable tool where authors can find open access policies about publishers and journals. It covers journals from all disciplines published all over the world. It is a very good place to start when you’re considering sending your article to a digital repository. 

5. Legal Information and Open Access in Canada

Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) logo with red maple leaf in the centre.

As a founding member of the Free Access to Law Movement the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) supports the Montreal Declaration on Free Access to Law and has grown to become a leading provider of open access to legal information. CanLII was created on behalf of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada in 2001 and continues to be funded by the Federation along with additional project funding from provincial and territorial law foundations and other organizations. 

Free Access to Law Movement (FALM) logo.

CanLII currently provides public access to over 2.8 million legal documents including case law, legislation and commentary. In 2014 CanLII Connects was launched to further expand public access to the law providing focussed legal commentary and case summaries that help legal professionals and the public discover quality legal decisions and legislation from all Canadian jurisdictions

Further Reading
Suber, P. (2012). Open Access. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 

About ydina

Yemisi Dina is Chief Law Librarian at the Osgoode Hall Law School Library, York University, Canada. https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/faculty-and-staff/dina-yemisi/