FAQ – OA Spectrum

  • (Source: “HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum”, (c) 2012 SPARC and PLOS)

    • What are Hybrid journals?

      Hybrid journals are subscription journals that both collect subscription fees for their journal and offer an option for an author to pay a fee to make their article available outside of the subscribers.

      Reader rights cover the right of readers for articles in a publication and the hybrid option only addresses a single article based on the choice of the authors to pay an additional fee to liberate their paper. The hybrid model makes an article OA, not the journal.

    • How can I make an informed decision on where to publish based on journal OA policies?

      It is a confusing topic. Not all OA is created equal! A useful resource to understand the spectrum of ‘openness’ is this Open Access Guide that will help you understand the core components of Open Access and help you make an informed decision. Sherpa RoMEO contains publishers’ general policies on self-archiving of journal articles and certain conference series. Each entry provides a summary of the publisher’s policy, including what version of an article can be deposited, where it can be deposited, and any conditions that are attached to that deposit.

    • Not all OA is created equal – what does this mean?

      Open Access encompasses a range of components such as readership, reuse, copyright, posting, and machine readability. Within these areas, publishers and funding agencies have adopted many different policies, some of which are more open and some less open. For example, a policy that allows anyone to read an article for free six months after its publication is more open than a policy that creates a twelve month embargo; it is also less open than a policy that allows for free reading immediately upon publication. This could also be said to apply to the licensing scheme: CC-BY allows the reader to do far more than, say, CC BY-NC-SA or a licence with the ND clause.

    • What are the different versions of papers?

      The LSE Versions toolkit is useful in understanding the different versions and it has some good tips for authors: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/64948/ (pdf document)

    • Why does it matter which version of a paper (e.g., the published article, the final peer-reviewed manuscript) an author can post elsewhere?

      Scholarly research can undergo a number of revisions between the time an author submits it to a journal and the time it is published. The advent of electronic communication and dissemination has meant that multiple versions of a paper may be circulating on the Internet. This versioning issue can cause confusion among readers, as well as among other authors wishing to cite a work. It reduces the confusion when an author can post the published version in an institutional repository or a department website. The final version of the peer-reviewed manuscript (sometimes called the “postprint” or, using NISO terminology, the “accepted manuscript”) may lack some of the formatting of the published version, for example.