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Scholarly Communication

Information for the University at Albany community about scholarly communication issues, including open access, author rights, Scholars Archive, and more

What Is Open Access?

As described by Peter Suber, open access (OA) scholarship is "digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." 

Authors may make their work openly available by either placing their content in a repository ("green OA") or opting to publish through an OA venue ("gold OA").

Why open access?  

Whether self-archiving or choosing to make your work openly available through a publisher, there are advantages for you to consider when openly distributing your work.

  • Increase your work's readership: OA scholarship is not locked behind paywalls and is, therefore, more visible
  • Enjoy a citation advantage: research has shown that because OA work is more easily discovered it can be used and cited at higher rates 
  • Be a good neighbor: scholarship is a public good, it should be shared as widely as possible

OA Resources

There are many useful search tools for your consideration when looking for open content. 

  • Open Access ButtonLaunched in 2013, the Open Access Button helps readers access research legally and request that it be made openly available. This product will help you find both open articles and data. Just download the browser extension and start searching.  This open source tool is funded by Arcadia and supported by SPARC.
  • UnpaywallThis tool searches and finds openly available full-text research papers as you browse. Data is sourced from OA repositories, including institutional repositories and preprint servers. Download the Chrome or Firefox extension and the tool will do the rest. This open source tool was created by Impactstory with grants from the National Science Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Find open access ebooks in your disipline at the Directory of Open Access Books.

Search for open dataset repositories:

  • is a global registry of research data repositories from different academic disciplines. re3data presents repositories for the permanent storage and access of datasets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers and scholarly institutions. re3data aims to promote a culture of sharing, increased access, and better visibility of research data.

Subject repositories are open to scholars all over the world who publish work in a particular discipline. Some of the larger ones include:

  • arXiv: Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics
  • PubMed Central: Biomedicine and Life Sciences
  • RePEc: Research Papers in Economics
  • SSRN: Social Science Research Network