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Open Access: Home

What is Open Access?

In terms of scholarly literature, "open access" applies to "digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions"(Suber). What it means to academia and research is that the primary barrier to access, price, is removed from the equation, allowing free access to peer-reviewed, scholarly works, books, and just about any other electronic print material with the designation.

Open Access works fall under two main publishing categories:

Green Open Access
Free online access to peer-reviewed materials provided by the author (self archived, or published in an institutional repository).

Gold Open Access
Free online access provided by the journal itself, whether the journal is subscription-based, APC (article processing charge)-based, or subsidized. Open access journals can be searchable within a digital publisher's collection. For example, EBSCO allows the user to limit searching to open access journals.

Visit Scholarly Communication & Open Access to learn more about Open Access, Scholarly Communication, and the services and resources we offer at SBU Libraries.

MIT has a great FAQ of popular questions regarding open access if you want to learn more about the basics of OA.

Your Global Audience Is Here

The Academic Commons is an open access scholarly repository and publishing platform for the Stony Brook University community.  Works in Academic Commons are: freely accessible online, regularly backed up, easily discoverable via search engines, and assigned a permanent URL so they can always be found.

A home for your scholarship

In addition to research articles, use Academic Commons to share your manuscripts, open textbooks and more. Academic Commons supports a variety of file formats, and we encourage you to deposit related materials with your texts (including data, images, audio and video).

Begin sharing your research and creative work  Visit, or contact Darren Chase, Scholarly Communication Librarian, to discuss Academic Commons, open access or other scholarly communication topics.  Email call 631.632.9830.

Open Access Week

Open Access Week is a worldwide event designed to promote open access as the new default in scholarly research and publishing. Now in its eighth year of events, current and past events are archived on its website.

Open Access by Peter Suber



Open Access by Peter Suber, cited above, is a pivotal work in the field and an approachable introduction to the basics of Open Access.

Related Guides

Open Access

Open Access


This guide will provide you with an introduction to Open Access (OA). Open Access is quickly growing in the academic community as a way to freely share and disseminate information equal in quality (i.e. peer reviewed) and reliability to traditionally published resources.


Scholarly Communication Workshops & Events

Fall 2016


Peer Review & Open Access

Date: 09/13/2016
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Center for Scholarly Communication


Peer review is the process where experts in the field give feedback and comments on a research manuscript, before the paper is passed on to a journal editor, who then decides whether it should be published. In the majority of cases, these are volunteer academics (both the reviewers and editors). Peer review is the supposed gold standard for research articles, designed to apply rigor and scrutiny and weed out the bad research. However, it is important to note that having an article accepted through peer review does not make it correct forever.

Open access stands for unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse. Most publishers own the rights to the articles in their journals. Anyone who wants to read the articles must pay to access them. Anyone who wants to use the articles in any way must obtain permission from the publisher and is often required to pay an additional fee.

Peer review and open access are compatible.   In this session:

  • Discover sources of quality open access peer review journals.
  • Explore approaches to determining if a journal is legitimate.


EndNote Workshop

Date: 09/15/2016
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Library Classroom A


Creating the bibliography is often the most tedious part of writing a research paper. Using EndNote, a bibliographic management software program, this task just became much easier. In this workshop learn: how to create an EndNote Library, how to download results from a literature search into EndNote, and how to organize your EndNote Library and much more. Led by Clara Tran and Robert Tolliver


It’s Free! Open Textbooks, Open Courses, Open Education for YOU

Date: 09/29/2016
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Center for Scholarly Communication


Discover textbooks, teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an student, instructor or self-learner.  The movement for open education seeks to tap into the vast potential of technology and the Internet to support more affordable, effective teaching and learning.

Open Educational Resources include:

  • full courses,
  • textbooks, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities,
  • pedagogical materials,
  • games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.

Join Head of Research and Emerging Technology Laura Costello for a discussion of open education and demonstration of useful open educational resources.

Organizing Your Publications: Author IDs and Profiles

Date: 10/03/2016
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Health Sciences Library EBM Room


Organizing and managing your publications, particularly for grant biosketches, can be a challenge. The ORCID project is an international effort to provide every scholarly author with a unique identifier. SciENcv is a new tool from the NCBI that allows researchers to create and store biosketches specifically formatted for NIH and NSF grants, including an automated import function from ORCID. These resources will be demonstrated. Led by Jennifer Lyon and Clara Tran

Academic Commons: the open access scholarly repository

Date: 10/04/2016
Time: 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Center for Scholarly Communication


The Academic Commons is the new open access scholarly repository for Stony Brook University.  Stony Brook researchers and faculty can freely share their own pre- or post-peer reviewed drafts of articles and other materials.  In this session:

  • How to use the Academic Commons to discover and share work
  • Access usage statistics and other features that demonstrate impact of articles
  • Understand open access, and meeting a funded research public access mandate (NIH, NSF, etc.)

Join Head of the Center for Scholarly Communication Darren Chase for this hands-on demonstration and discussion of the new SBU Academic Commons.

NIH Public Access Policy

Date: 10/11/2016
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Health Sciences Library EBM Room


Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy is a requirement for all published peer-reviewed papers based on NIH funding; failure to comply can delay or stop further funding. So what is the policy and how is compliance managed? Led by Jennifer Lyon

Getting Published: Preparing Your Research for Publication

Date: 10/27/2016
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Center for Scholarly Communication


This session offers help in many stages of the publishing process:

  • Secure Funding Use tools and guides for finding funding and grants from the NIH, NSF and more.  Understand publishing requirements (including NIH’s Public Access Policy).
  • Find Related Research Find tools, librarians and guides that will help you find the most relevant information and data for your research.
  • Manage Information / Writing Get tips on organizing and citing your sources and data, using tools such as EndNote and Zotero.
  • Select a Journal to Publish In Find impact factors of journals (via Journal Citation Reports and Scopus) and find journals in your field, including open access journals.

Your Copyright: Increasing the Impact of Your Research

Date: 10/28/2016
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Center for Scholarly Communication


Many publishers create significant barriers for authors who want to reuse or share their work, and for access to that work by others. Negotiating changes to standard publisher agreements can help authors avoid these obstacles, thus increasing options for authors as well as readership, citation, and impact of the work itself. Openly available articles have been shown to be more heavily cited.

In this session researchers and authors will:

  • learn about the advantages of retaining your copyright
  • review tools, techniques, and sites (i.e., the Directory of Open Access Journals) for discovering and evaluating high-quality open access peer reviewed journals
  • explore the new Stony Brook University Libraries Academic Commons

Research Data Services

Date: 11/23/2016
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Center for Scholarly Communication


This session is an introduction to SBU Libraries Research Data Services.  Research Data Services provides guidance and support for all aspects of the data lifecycle, from planning your data management strategy during the proposal phase through preserving your data at the conclusion of your project.

How We Can Help

  • Not sure where to start? See the Research Data Services guide.  For a list of data-related services and support all over campus, see Campus Data Services.
  • Need to write a data management plan? We offer several resources for you.
  • Interested in learning about the best ways to organize, store, share and preserve your data? See our guide to managing data.


Content used with permission by Rachel Baum / CC NC BY

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