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Tag: Open Access (page 1 of 8)

Scholarly Publishing Series #4: Academic Publishing and Scholarly Societies

Are you member of a scholarly society or an editor for a society publication? Do you have questions about how Open Access and new funding models affect scholarly societies and academic publishing? Join us for the fourth conversation in our Fall series on Scholarly Publishing focused on academic publishing and scholarly societies and hear from your peers and share your own experiences.


  • Bryan Carstens, University Libraries Faculty Fellow for Transforming the Scholarly Publishing Economy, and Professor, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
  • Maureen Walsh, Scholarly Sharing Strategist, Associate Professor, University Libraries
  • Gene Springs, Collections Strategist, Associate Professor, University Libraries

Who: OSU faculty, staff, post docs, and graduate students
When: Thursday, Nov. 12, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Where: Zoom

This event has passed. A captioned recording can be accessed here.

Scholarly Publishing Series #3: Open Access Publishing

Do you have questions about Open Access, journal funding models, author charges, and publishing ethics? Have you faced barriers or challenges in navigating the current scholarly publishing landscape? Are you curious about how University Libraries is investing in new models of scholarly publishing? Are you an author, an editor, a member of a scholarly society? Join us for the third conversation in our Fall series on Scholarly Publishing focused on Open Access publishing and hear from your peers and share your own experiences.


  • Bryan Carstens, University Libraries Faculty Fellow for Transforming the Scholarly Publishing Economy, and Professor, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
  • Maureen Walsh, Scholarly Sharing Strategist, Associate Professor, University Libraries
  • Gene Springs, Collections Strategist, Associate Professor, University Libraries

Who: OSU faculty, staff, post docs and graduate students
When: Thursday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Where: Zoom

This event has passed. You can access a captioned recording here.

Openness and the BTAA Geoportal

October 19-25, 2020 marks the tenth year of Open Access Week, an international event highlighting the potential benefits of openness in research and scholarship. Open Access Week is organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, or SPARC. To quote from their Who We Are page, SPARC “works to enable the open sharing of research outputs and educational materials in order to democratize access to knowledge, accelerate discovery, and increase the return on our investment in research and education.”

In the spirit of SPARC’s mission and Open Access Week more generally, I want to briefly highlight a collaborative project that the University Libraries is involved in and that also helps to advance the goals of openness for research and education, the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal. The BTAA Geoportal provides discoverability and facilitates access to geospatial information resources, including GIS datasets, web services, and scanned historical maps from multiple data clearinghouses and library catalogs. The resources in the geoportal are selected and curated by librarians and geospatial specialists at 13 research institutions across the BTAA. Our collective efforts as contributors to this project advance openness in a number of ways, but I want to call out three that I think are particularly important:

Open data – Geospatial data assets are produced and made publicly available by many different entities, at different administrative levels (e.g., city, county, state), and often through different platforms, across the region comprising BTAA institutions. By centralizing regional geospatial data discovery into a single interface, the BTAA Geoportal saves time and makes it easier for researchers, educators, and other stakeholders to find and use these data to advance their work.

Open collections – As research libraries undertake projects to scan maps within our collections, the BTAA Geoportal provides us with an opportunity to make this content more discoverable, accessible, and usable in support of research and education. In the words of our University Libraries strategic directions, it allows us to “open content for expanded access.”

Open educational resources – Finally, I want to call attention to one of the latest initatives of the BTAA Geoportal team, our first series of tutorials that were just released earlier this month. These tutorials highlight the BTAA Geoportal in the context of teaching and learning about topics such as types of geospatial information, finding and evaluating geospatial data, using GIS web services, and more. Licensed under Creative Commons, these tutorials are openly available, reusable, and adaptable, and we hope they will support the teaching needs of librarians and disciplinary faculty in in-person, hybrid, and fully online instructional contexts.

It has been extremely rewarding for me to be a collaborator on the BTAA Geoportal team and to participate in these efforts that help to advance a philosophy of openness in our work and in supporting research and education. I hope that you will take some time to explore the BTAA Geoportal to identify how these geospatial information resources might advance your own work too.

If you have questions about the BTAA Geoportal or geospatial information resources more generally, please feel free to email me at If you are interested in learning more about the ongoing work and progress of the BTAA Geoportal team, check out our five-year project impact report, which was released in May 2020.

Making Your Research More Affordable and Accessible Through Open Licensing

Join the University Libraries’ Copyright Services during International Open Access Week to learn more about the benefits and special considerations in making your scholarship and teaching materials openly available through Creative Commons open licenses. This presentation will provide an introduction to the rights provided automatically to authors and creators under copyright law and review important points of copyright ownership under Ohio State’s IP policy. We will explore the different open license options provided by Creative Commons and discuss how those licenses can be utilized in your teaching and research.

Who: OSU faculty, staff, post docs and graduate students
When: Monday, October 19, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Zoom

This event has already passed. You can access a captioned recording here.

Navigating the Article Publication Process: Evaluating Open Access Journals

This post is part two of a series covering topics found in the research guide Navigating the Article Publication Process.

Alongside the increasing number of open access journals [1] has come a number of publishers, oftentimes called “predatory,” that many scholars want to avoid. Predatory publishing is difficult to define; however, broadly speaking, these publishers charge authors money to publish their work while not providing the things that are usually expected of a reputable publisher, such as thorough peer-review, editing, distribution to an audience that is appropriate to your work, and generally adding to your reputation as a scholar. 

In many ways it is easier to determine the reputation of an OA journal by looking for positive qualities, rather than negative ones. 

Some characteristics that indicate a journal is reputable include: [2] 

  • An updated/professional website
  • Produced/sponsored by a well-known/well-respected organization, association, or academic institution
  • Aims & Scope that seem appropriate for the journal
  • Information about copyright
  • An ISSN
  • Clear explanation of author fees
  • Clear author guidelines
  • Clear explanation of the peer-review process
  • A physical address, phone number, and email address for the publisher available on the site
  • An editorial board that includes the full credentials of its members
  • Published articles available to download that seem well-researched and/or written by scholars who are experts in the field
  • The journal is indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • The publisher of the journal is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)

It is important to remember that, while some or most of these characteristics are often shared by reputable journals or publishers, not all of them need to be present for the journal to be highly regarded. 

In addition to these characteristics of reputable journals or publishers, Think, Check, Submit, an organization that helps researchers identify trusted journals and publishers for their research, also created and maintains a checklist authors can use to vet potential journals. 

In addition to concerns about avoiding predatory publishers, there are many misconceptions about open access publishing that also relate to the overall quality or prestige of the journal. Some of these include [3] :

The majority of open access journals charge authors publication fees.

  • About one-third of open-access journals charge publication fees (compared to three-fourths of conventional journals).
  • The presence, or lack, of a publication fee is not an indicator of the quality of the journal.
  • If you are interested in publishing in an open access journal, there may be alternative sources of funding available to you. Some journals have a waiver option for authors who can’t afford to pay a publication fee, and some funding agencies that require researchers to make their published work and/or any supplemental data openly available also offer financial assistance to authors to cover publication fees.[4] 

Open access journals are intrinsically low in quality.

  • Whether a journal is open access or subscription-based, its quality depends on many factors, including its peer-review and editorial processes as well as those described above.
  • There are many open access journals with high impact factors, and, as early as 2004, Thomson Scientific found that in every field of the sciences “there was at least one open access title that ranked at or near the top of its field” (Suber, 2013).

Open Access Journals are not peer-reviewed.

  • Reputable open access journals put articles through peer-review in the same way as traditional journals.

Remember, even if you choose to publish your article in a traditional, subscription-based journal, you are often able to include your work in an institutional repository, like Ohio State’s Knowledge Bank. Making your work freely available to everyone in an institutional repository only increases its potential impact.

Evaluating and understanding open access journals can be tricky. If you have questions, please get in touch with a subject librarian or send us an email: You can also consult our research guide on navigating the publication process, and check out this additional blog post on avoiding predatory open access publishers.

You can read our previous post in this series about choosing where to publish your article, and please stay tuned for future posts on your rights as an author and publication agreements. 


[1] In the context of scholarly publishing, OA refers to work that is “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” In addition, “OA works to remove price barriers (subscriptions, licensing fees, pay-per-view fees) and permission barriers (most copyright and licensing restrictions).” See Peter Suber’s Open Access Overview for more information.

[2] Adapted from Paul Blobaum’s Checklist for Review of Journal Quality, Governor’s State University 

[3] These and other myths about open access publishing can be found in Peter Suber’s 2013 article in The Guardian, Open access: six myths to put to rest.

[4] In addition, the Ohio State University Libraries has recently entered into a Read and Publish Agreement with Taylor & Francis Group. This agreement greatly increases Ohio State’s access to Taylor & Francis journals, while also supporting Open Access publishing for Ohio State authors.

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