Open Access

play a video Open Access Explained
In a brief and humorous video presentation, Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen take us through the world of open access publishing and explain just what it's all about.  (YouTube video)


Open access is an emerging model of scholarly communication that promises to greatly improve the accessibility of results of research.

Open access (OA) is the free availability of scholarly journal publications over the Internet. OA has the following characteristics:

  • It applies to royalty-free literature, for which authors receive no direct financial compensation;
  • It is free of price barriers, such as subscriptions, licensing fees, pay-per-view fees; and,
  • It is generally considered to also be free of permission barriers, such as most copyright and licensing restrictions (although OA does require that proper attribution of works be given to authors).

Open Access Sources

  • BioMed Central: an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model with over 200 peer-reviewed open access journals.
  • DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals. More than 3,000 free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.
  • Open access to over 633,000 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics.
  • Public Library of Science: A nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource, it provides scientists and physicians with high-quality, high-profile journals in which to publish their most important work.
  • PubMed Central: U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. Nearly 2 million articles are available, some with delayed release.
  • PubMed Central Canada: Building upon PubMed Central US, PMC Canada provides free access to a stable and permanent online digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed health and life sciences journal articles, including the research outputs of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant recipients.
  • ROAR: Registry of Open Access Repositories - list of Canadian projects with links. You can change the criteria to expand beyond Canada.

Publishing in Open Access Journals

Are you looking for an open access journal in which to publish?

Currently, the Library does not have a budget to assist Trent faculty with the cost of publishing in OA journals, but we're interested in working toward a model.  Please let us know what you're doing toward supporting and publishing in open access journals at

More Information on Open Access

  • CARL (Canadian Association of Research Libraries) - webpages on open access, including tips on how to make your research available
  • SPARC - Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system
  • Open Access Directory - a compendium of simple factual lists about open access (OA) to science and scholarship, maintained by the OA community at large
  • OASIS - Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook
  • Digital Scholarship - provides information and commentary about digital copyright, digital curation, digital repositories, open access, scholarly communication, and other digital information issues
  • The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics (SFU).
  • Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity - a call to fund Article Processing Charges (APCs) levied to authors in open access journals

Other University Library Websites on Open Access