Our current system for communicating research is crippled by a centuries old model that hasn’t been updated to take advantage of 21st century technology:
Green OA publishing refers to the self-archiving of published or pre-publication works for free public use. Authors provide access to preprints or post-prints (with publisher permission) in an institutional or disciplinary archive such as eCommons@Cornell and arXiv.org.
Gold OA publishing refers to works published in an open access journal and accessed via the journal or publisher's website. Examples of Gold OA include PLOS (Public Library of Science) and BioMed Central. Hybrid journals offer authors the option of making their articles open access, for a fee. Hybrid journals are still fundamentally subscription journals with an open access option for individual articles. They are not true open access journals, despite publishers' use of the term "gold open access" to describe this arrangement.
Created by SPARC in conjunction with PLOS and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), the HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Guide standardizes Open Access terminology in an easily understandable, comprehensive resource.
Before deciding to publish in a new OA journal, consider the following:
Adapted from Paul Blobaum's Checklist for Review of Journal Quality, Governor's State University
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
This is a searchable directory of open access journals across all disciplines.
International Association for Media and Communication Research OA journal list
This website lists open access journals in the field of media and communications research.
An off-shoot of PLoS, PeerJ is a new open access journal in the biological and medical sciences. PeerJ operates under a unique publishing fee model, which includes lifetime membership options.
Elsevier's OA Journals
Elsevier publishes many journals and scholarly works in various disciplines. This site provides a list of this publisher's open access journals.
This is a list of open access journals published by Springer covering numerous disciplines and subject areas.
Taylor & Francis OA Journals
Taylor & Francis publishes many journals and scholarly works in various disciplines. This site provides a list of this publisher's open access journals.
Wiley Open Access
Wiley publishes many journals and scholarly works in various disciplines. This site provides a list of this publisher's open access journals.
Royal Society Open Science and Open Biology
Two of the Royal Society's journals are fully open access.
Open Humanities Press
An "international, scholar-led open access publishing collective whose mission is to make leading works of contemporary critical thought available worldwide." The OHP network includes several openly accessible book series published by MPublishing at the University of Michigan, as well as a selective list of autonomously-produced open access journals in critical and cultural theory.
Knowledge Unlatched works with libraries and academic publishers to make selected books openly accessible. The model depends on libraries contributing to cover a publisher's costs on a book; when the cost-recovery goal is met, the book becomes open access. Knowledge Unlatched encourages authors to discuss this option with their publishers.
Open Library of Humanities
A high-profile initiative to establish a non-profit open access publisher for the humanities and social sciences.