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Health Sciences Scholarly Communication: Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) literature is freely available online, and may also be free of copyright and licensing restrictions.  Articles free of permission barriers are typically accompanied by a Creative Commons License, which dictates the different alteration and reuse options.  The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities provides a more detailed definition of OA.

Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, provides an introduction to OA:

       brief introduction / detailed introduction     

International Open Access Week connects a global audience interested in promoting OA. 

See the Public Access Mandates tab to learn more about government mandates with OA requirements.

Benefits of Open Access

Click on the links below to access literature on the benefits of OA:

Benefits of Open Access for research dissemination

Open Access Impact Bibliography

In the short video below experts from around the world discuss the value and future of OA to science and the larger global community, 

Open Access Repositories

Repositories allow you to upload and share your work with others.  They may be institutional or discipline specific.

To get started, the Harvard Open Access Project provides a guide on How to Make Your Own Work Open Access.

Open Access Explained

Watch the video below to learn more about OA and its impact on healthcare (

How Can I Pay to Publish in an Open Access Journal?

Open Access journals fall into two categories: fee based and no fee journals. In cases of fee based journals either the author, the author's institution or the source of the author's research funding pays to cover the cost of publication.

Researchers are encouraged to consider open access options at the beginning of their projects in order to set aside and ensure funding for eventual publication.

Discounts and funding opportunities that are available to USC affiliates will be shared here as they are discovered:

Open Access Registries & Directories

 Lists and indexes of OA resources.

Open Access Resources

Search the following resources for free full text articles, theses, and dissertations.

Open Access Publishing Resources

The following resources discuss OA publishing models:

Green, Blue, Yellow, White & Gold A brief guide to the open access rainbow.

Income models for Open Access: An overview of current practice

The resources below provide information on how to develop an OA publication or implement OA within your institution:

Avoiding Predatory Publishers

The following resources can be useful in assessing the integrity of OA publications and publishers.