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Open Access Publishing

Information about open access publishing for Wesleyan authors: definitions, free OA publishing options, getting funding for OA publishing, and more.

What Is Open Access?

Open access (OA) refers to material that is available online and can be read by everyone for free. It is often available for use and sharing without the copyright and licensing restrictions commonly placed on published works. By making their work available in this manner, authors ensure that the broadest possible audience can read and use it, without limiting it to only those who are affiliated with research libraries or can afford costly journal subscriptions. Open access is not defined by a particular business model or type of content. Rather, open access is an approach to sharing one's work with the wider world.

This section is reused without modification from the University of Michigan's Open Access Overview page under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Why Publish Open Access?

There are many reasons you may choose to publish your scholarly work open access:

  • It's required by your funding source
  • Your work was funded by or is about the public and you believe it should also be available for the public to read
  • You believe that your work is socially relevant and want to maximize its impact
  • You want your work to be available to scholars at institutions or in parts of the world with fewer resources, and to those who don't have an institutional affiliation

Whatever your reasons, there are free and easy options for publishing your work openly that align with your career advancement goals as well as your values. If you choose to publish open access with a publisher that charges fees for this service, support is available through agreements that cover publishing fees for Wesleyan authors and grants.


APC: Article (or Author) Processing Charges (APCs) are fees charged to the author for the gold open access publication of their work in a journal.

Author accepted manuscript: The version of the manuscript that is accepted to a journal.

Diamond Open Access: Full-text access achieved by publishing an article in a journal that is free for authors to publish in and for readers to read.

Gold Open Access: Full-text access achieved by publishing an article in a journal that is either fully or partially free to read. Typically, the author pays a fee (APC) for their article to be made freely available to readers.

Green Open Access: Full-text access achieved by posting a version of an article on an institutional repository.

Hybrid Journals: Journals that publish some articles gold open access and some articles behind a paywall. This model is often seen as doubly unfair since the journal charges subscription fees and also APCs.

Preprint: Any polished but not published version of a manuscript, often the version initially submitted to a journal or the version following peer-review and revision but not yet accepted.

Version of record: The final published version of a manuscript, with the publisher's copy edits, formatting, etc.