Open Access Publishing

Open access--sometimes referred to as OA--may be defined as a mode of publication or distribution of research results that limits or removes payments, fees, licensing, or other barriers to readers’ access to research reports, journal articles, conference proceedings, books, or any other type of scholarly literature or research product. When many people think of open access they think of open access journals, which are becoming more and more common. However, open access can refer to many different methods of making research available, including posting work to a repository like ScholarSphere, uploading work to one's own website, or publishing an open access monograph. The video below provides a good explanation of open access principles.

Peter Suber has written one of the definitive books on the subject. It is available for hardcopy purchase and as an open access HTML document at the MIT Press’s website. It is also available for reading or checkout from the Libraries’ digital book collection in The CAT.

One way to support the open access movement is to document your experience with research paywalls through the use of the Open Access Button.

To learn more about open access and to discover what you can do to make your work accessible; or to find out if you are required by funding agencies to make your work accessible, please contact us at or consult our Open Access Research Guide.

Source: Piled Higher and Deeper Comics 2012 Licensed under Creative Commons License CC BY

Open Access at Penn State

Penn State Faculty Senate Unanimous Vote on Open Access Resolution 4/28/2015

The Penn State University Libraries now offers open access publishing grants for open access processing fees!

The Penn State University Libraries are committed to making data and knowledge accessible to the Penn State community and to the public. The libraries are working to promote open access through services like ScholarSphere, open access journal publication, and conference proceedings publication. We also provide consultations for authors interested in publishing their work or data in an open access manner.

Further, Penn State Libraries is a supporting member of: Public Library of Science (PLoS), BioMed Central,, and Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Great News! Penn State University Libraries Faculty Approve Open Access Policy for Scholarly Work

University Park, PA--At the February 11, 2015 Library Faculty Organization meeting, the Penn State University Libraries faculty voted in favor of the motion to embrace open access principles when publishing their scholarly articles. Penn State library faculty join their library faculty colleagues at other institutions including Columbia, Arizona State, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and the University of Northern Colorado, who have all voted to support the principles of open access for their scholarly work. The policy asserts that “Members of the Library Faculty Organization pledge to make our own research freely available whenever possible by seeking publishers that either publish contents online without restriction, and/or allow authors to self-archive their publications using institutional and/or personal websites.”

Penn State Libraries' OA Policy in ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Archiving Policies)