Skip to Main Content

Open Education

This guide provides an overview of open education, including information and resources related to open access, open data, open educational resources, and open pedagogy.

Open Access (OA)

Open access refers to "the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment" (SPARC). A majority of scholarship today is closed – locked behind publisher paywalls and requiring an institutional affiliation for access. Open access publishing seeks to fundamentally change the current scholarly landscape by eliminating barriers to access and engaging everyone in the dissemination of knowledge.

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship (embedded below), produced by Jason Schmitt, provides focus on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google.

Types of Open Access

Green Open Access

Green open access refers to self-archiving of a pre-print or post-print article in an online repository. In this model, an author publishes in a traditional closed-access journal but reserves the right to distribute the content of their work in an open manner.

Gold Open Access

Gold open access refers to articles in fully accessible OA journals. Publishing costs money, and while traditionally that money has come from subscriptions - a 'reader pays' model - gold OA is an effort to explore the alternatives. One popular model is an 'author pays' system, where publishing costs are supported by article processing charges (APCs) paid by the author.

Hybrid Open Access

Some closed-access journals offer the option for authors to make individual articles open access (freely available to everyone) by paying an APC fee. Most OA advocates are suspicious of this model, as it seems to offer the opportunity for publishers to 'double dip': the author pays the APC fee, but libraries must still pay the full subscription fee for access to the journal as a whole, without any kind of discount for the issues that include hybrid-OA articles.

Where to Find Open Access Publications


This page has been adapted from University of Washington Libraries Open Access research guide and University of Texas Libraries Open Access at UT Austin research guide. University of Washington Libraries Open Access research guide is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license. University of Texas Libraries Open Access at UT Austin research guide is licensed under a CC BY-NC 2.0 license.