US Copyright: Open access

Open access has come to symbolize the revolution in scholarly publishing, though the revolution goes much deeper and is much wider. Fundamentally, open access means what it says, access to scholarly works in the open - on the web.

Open access resources

Check out the information on open access in the Publication section. Libraries have been in the forefront of this revolution for some time, but are now being joined by more and more publishers. Many libraries offer services to academics to help them take advantage of options their publishers give them to archive their pre- and post-prints, and to negotiate modifications to their contracts that allow for archiving if the publisher does not allow it by policy. You can determine what most publishers' policies are regarding open access at Sherpa's RoMeo site. There are many blogs on the subject of scholarly communication that address the broader issues as well as open access.

Open access mandates and recommendations

Several prominent funding agencies have mandated that the results of research they fund must be made publicly available, and others are considering it. The NIH requires grant recipients to publicly post their NIH supported research results in PubMed Central, to be made publicly available as soon as possible after publication.

So learn enough about this to ask good questions, visit your librarian, ask your peers what they do and what they know. Start taking advantage of your opportunity to enhance the visibility of your research, with the attendant increase in citation, opportunities for collaboration, and the chance to add to the growing body of works that are open to secondary research and services. If affecting ordinary people forms part of your research objective, open access offers students and teachers, as well as ordinary citizens all over the world, the chance to read articles that are frankly out of their reach right now. This is something to celebrate.

That is the end of our top level section on US copyright. More detailed information is available.

Creative Commons Licence
PILOT - Copyright edited by Marion Kelt and based on Copyright Crash Course by University of Texas Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at