Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

How to publish a research paper: Open Access

This guide is designed to help you prepare your papers to be published in scholarly peer reviewed journals. Tips and some useful advice.

What is Open Access?

Open Access is when publications are freely available online to all at no cost and with limited restrictions with regards reuse. Open access scholarly literature is free of charge and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, for both the users and the authors.

  • Gratis OA is information that is available free of charge, while some copyright and licensing restrictions may still apply.
  • Libre OA is information that is free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restriction.
  • While 'free' implies that the information does not cost anything to access, remember that OA publishing still often involves a cost to the author to publish the work.


Peter Suber's Open Access Overview

Cornell's Open Access Publishing Fund

To go Open Access

•To go open access
Five decision points to make:
•Is the journal an established and legitimate journal? Most of them don’t do peer review they accept all, just charge (APC) and post the material. Jeffrey Beall / a librarian created a list of predatory publishers that accept basically all articles. Check this link and search for the journal
•Confirm the publication is peer-reviewed.
•What metrics are used to measure the articles or publication against their peers? Impact factor, H-index, altmetrics or alternative metrics, social media engagements or shares.
•Where the journal is indexed, in google scholar, Medline, CINAHL etc.
•Reputation: ask your colleagues about any publication in your field and how it is perceived.

Tips for publishing open access

Some tips for you if you decided to choose to publish your paper using the gold open access:

  1. Find the right journal, look for the most reputable journals and peer-reviewed journals.
  2. Collect key information by checking your funding body and institutions policies for funding.
  3. Choose your article to be open access by selecting a license and if needed, pay an open access fee to the journal.
  4. Publish open access by sharing the final version of your article.

Pros & Cons

Open access pros and cons:

•Free access
•More readers, higher citations
•No barriers to access
•Limited or no copyright restrictions
•Speed in publishing your papers
•Author fees for publishing
•Quality control.
•New and not well known
•Low impact factor.

Types of Open Access

Open Access

Should I publish in an open access journal or not? And what type should i choose?
Gold Open Access (published by a publisher)
•Community-curated list of open access journals and aims to be the starting point for all information searches for quality, peer-reviewed open access material.
•May have various business models. Might charge an APC (author processing charge) from several 100$ to 5000$. According to the directory of OA journals, 60% of all OAJ don’t charge an APC fee to the author check
•Can be deposited to your institution's repository.
Green Open Access (published by a publisher)
•Authors self-archives their articles at a publicly available repository run by someone such as a university.
• and both are social networking sites for scientists and researchers and not publishers.
•Publish on your own using a license 
What is Creative Commons
•“Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that works to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) available in “the commons” — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, re-purposing, and remixing”.
•Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use legal tools that give everyone from individual “user-generated content” creators to major companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to pre-clear usage rights to creative work they own the copyright to.
•CC licenses let people easily change their copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”
•Getting a Creative Commons license is easy. Visit their Web site at and click “License Your Work.”