There are two main ways to publish in open access: the gold road and the green road.
In both cases, the peer review process is of particular importance in ensuring the quality of journal articles.
Publishing an article - the gold road
The gold road: The article is available free of charge on the journal’s website. The journal can be an open access journal or a subscription journal that makes some individual articles freely accessible to the readers (these are commonly known as hybrid journals).
Although this isoften the case,open access journalsdo not always requirea financial contribution fromthe author in order to publish thearticle.Several business models exist, yet the articles are always available free of charge to readers. To find an open access journal, consult the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
As for hybrid journals, the author usually pays in order to make his article available in open access. However, libraries often have to maintain their subscription to the journal so they still have access to all of the published articles.
Advantages of open access publication
Meets the requirements of a growing number of founding agencies (including Canadian ones);
Ensures the archiving and disseminationof the institutions' scientific research output;
Raises their institutional profile and visibility.
For the scientific community:
Offers free access to academic publications;
Facilitates articles' retrieval, since open access publications can be searched by both common (Google Scholar) and specialized (OAIster) search engines;
Allows full text search in articles;
Facilitates plagiarism detection.
Publishing an article - The Green road
The green road: The authors publish an article in an academic journal and self-archive a copy of the article in an open archive (ex.: arXiv.org) or institutional repository (PolyPublie). Many publishers do allow archiving of peer-reviewed articles (the final manuscript or the version formatted by the publisher). Some articles can be archived only after the embargo period expires. Authors must read their contracts, or the authors guidelines typically published in an editor's website, to be aware of their publisher's self-archiving conditions. As for articles submitted in PolyPublie by Polytechnique's authors, the library will validate self-archiving conditions and required embargos.
The Sherpa/Romeo website is a good starting point, because it includesa summary ofarchivingpermissionsandlinks to publishers' policies.
Protect yourselves as authors
Author addendum to publication agreement
Did you knowthat you canmake changes to acontract you signwithapublisher? In order to do this,you can addan addendum to thepublication agreement.
Here is an example: the Canadian Author Addendum to Publication Agreement, proposed by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL). This document was adapted from the U.S.' Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)'s addendum.
Have you ever been approached by a journal wanting to publish your article in open access, subject to the payment of certain costs? Although there are many publishers that publishqualityopen-access journals, some take advantage of itby creatingjournalswithoutscientific basis for their own gain.They are calledpredatorypublishers.
Jeffrey Beall, an American librarian interested in open access, compiles a list of "questionable, scholarly open-access publishers", which is regularly updated. Click here to consult it.