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Open Access

This guide provides information about open access. It discusses basic terminology, resources, and current events in the movement for increased open access.

Archiving at CWU

Anyone affiliated with Central Washington University can use the university's institutional repository, ScholarWorks, to archive and disseminate scholarly work. ScholarWorks is not exclusively open access but Brooks Library will provide copyright research assistance to determine if work can be shared full-text or abstract-only. To learn more, please see this guide or the Guidelines section in ScholarWorks.

Author Rights

When an author creates something, she automatically owns the copyright to that work. She can disseminate the work, modify it, copy it, or share it online as she sees fit. When this author publishes, she will transfer copyright to the publisher through a publisher's agreement. Often she'll sign over her right to disseminate the work, share it online, copy or modify the work without the publisher's permission.

Academics are increasingly finding that publisher's agreements can restrict rights that they would prefer to retain--like the right to share their work in course packs, on personal websites, or in institutional repositories. The case of Elsevier vs. and Cambridge, Oxford, and Sage vs. Georgia State University illustrate this point.

When publishing, authors can negotiate with publishers to retain certain rights--like the right to share their work in institutional repositories. Some choose to use the SPARC Author Addendum or the Science Commons Open Access Addendum to simplify this negotiation.

Creative Commons Licenses

When arranging to place their work in a repository, authors may wish to include a Creative Commons license to indicate how others may use their work. See the following for an overview.

Discipline-Specific Repositories

Archiving in Repositories

As an alternative to publishing in OA journals, scholars can also archive their previously published work in repositories that are publicly accessible online. This type of open access can only occur when the publisher, as copyright-holder of the work, allows it to be shared online. Often the publisher will permit some version of the work to be archived--for instance, the pre-print (the draft before peer review), the post-print (the draft after peer review), or the publisher's copy (the final published version).

To find an open access repository, you can search in the Directory of Open Access Repositories or the Registry of Open Access Repositories.