Library:Scholarly Communications/How do I make my work OA

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There are two routes to Open Access: Publishing in a journal ("gold") and placing your work in a repository ("green").


Open Access Journals

To locate Open Access Journals (called Gold OA) in your field, try searching the Directory of Open Access Journals.

You may be able to self-archive material published in non-OA journals via an institutional repository (called Green OA). cIRcle, is UBC's digital repository for intellectual materials. Most publishers allow for self-archiving, usually with the caveat that you link back to the abstract page for your article on the journal’s site.

Do I have to pay to publish in an Open Access Journal?

Some Gold OA or Hybrid journals may require payment in the form of an Article Processing Charge (APC). You may be able to ask for funding for an APC within a grant application, or you may receive a discount if your institution has a membership with the journal (see below for UBC's memberships). Many journals will even waive the charge in case of financial hardship.

I want to publish OA, but the author fees are too much for me to pay. Is there support for this at UBC?

UBC Library maintains institutional memberships with a number of Open Access publishers, which entitle UBC authors to discounts on article submission fees. For more information, see our list of institutional memberships. ---

Open Access Repository

You may already have open access articles – you just haven’t posted them yet.


The "green" route to OA means self-archiving your articles to make them freely available online.


Different publishers allow you to archive different versions of your articles: Sherpa/Romeo is a resource which provides details of the archiving rights normally given by the copyright transfer agreements of various publishers. Sherpa/Romeo ranks publishers on the following scale:

  • Green: authors can archive post-prints (the final draft of an article after peer review) and the publisher’s final PDF version of articles.
  • Blue: authors can archive post-prints or the publisher’s final PDF version of the article.
  • Yellow: authors can archive pre-prints (the version of the paper before peer-review).

Where can I archive my articles?

There are several options for archiving your work:

  • cIRcle: UBC’s digital repository for research and teaching materials created by the UBC community. Materials in cIRcle are openly available to anyone on the web, are better indexed by web search engines than those available on personal websites, have persistent URLS, and will be preserved for future generations.
  • Personal or departmental websites: increase the visibility of your research by making it freely available on your own page.
  • Discipline-specific digital repositories: some disciplines have central repositories for archiving, such as arXiv.org for fields such as physics, mathematics, computer science, biology, quantitative finance and statistics, or the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) for the social sciences.

Author Toolkit

Author Addendums

Materials that make it easier to retain the rights to your work.

CARL/SPARC Canadian Author's Addendum
Form that can be filled out and attached to the publication agreement provided by the publisher so that you can retain your choice of rights.
Science Commons, Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine
Generates a PDF addendum that can be signed, dated, and attached to your publisher’s agreement.
Check List for Reviewing Copyright Forms
Helps to determine what rights you’re signing away and what rights you retain so you can decide if you need to make use of an addendum to the contract.

Finding an Open Access Journal

How to find a journal that is aligned with the principles of Open Access.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Aims to be one-stop shopping for users of open access scientific and scholarly journals. You can browse journals by subject to find one that fits your needs.
Ulrich’s Web
A source of detailed information on all types of serials: academic and scholarly journals, e-journals, peer-reviewed titles, and other non-scholarly periodicals.

Finding an Open Access Repository

How to find an archive for your work in accordance with the principles of Open Access

OpenDOAR
Provides a list of OA repositories and allows you to search for specific repositories or search repository contents. Also provides information about creating meta-data and full-text reuse policies for journals.
arXiv.org (Cornell University Library)
Open Access to over 900,000 e-prints in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, and statistics. Can be searched by topic, author, title, and contents of abstract, among other things.
Social Science Research Network
Represents a world-wide collective of researchers, users, and specialized research networks devoted to the rapid dissemination of social science research.
PeerJ PrePrints
For uploading drafts of scientific articles that have not yet been peer reviewed for formal publication. PrePrint manuscripts can be submitted to the PeerJ journal, though that is not required.

Policies & Requirements

Where to find information about journal policies and funder mandates for your research.

SHERPA/RoMEO
Search for the copyright & self-archiving policies of a variety of journals, including both the legal policies and a human-readable version of those policies.
SHERPA/JULIET
Check the requirements for funder’s open access policies, either by searching within a country or by searching for individual agencies.

Further Information

Open Access Publisher Discounts for UBC Researchers