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Scholarly Communication

What is Open Access

Open access (OA) publishing ensures that readers have free and unrestricted access to read and download your research publications online - all they need is an internet access. By publishing OA, your research will be accessible to not only the scholarly community, but also the wider public, as they can freely read and download your research publications.

Why Open Access and how to publish Open Access?

"Making research results more accessible contributes to better and more efficient science, and to innovation in the public and private sectors."     ~ European Commission, Horizon2020

There are several reasons why it is advantageous to publish OA;

  1. It improves the visibility of your work as it can be read by everyone, even the public
  2. Allows you to share your work quickly via multiple channels
  3. Allows you to retain your author's rights to your research publications by using creative commons licenses

In the Singaporean context, several funding bodies (e.g. MOE Tier 2 and 3, NRF Competitive Research Programme and ASTAR, NMRC etc.) require grant holders to make their publications accessible in some way within 12 months of publication.

OA options are changing rapidly. At present, there are several main modes to make your publications OA:

  • "Gold" OA route in full OA or hybrid journals - This ensures that your article becomes open access immediately on publication. Very often, an article processing charge (APC) is paid to the publisher, which is why this is also commonly known as the 'author-pays' model. Gold OA is available to full open access journals, as well as for hybrid journals offering both open access and subscription-only publishing models.
    • "Diamond" OA route - This is a relatively new pathway where "diamond" journals or platforms are fully open access but do not charge any author-related APCs. These journals are often funded by libraries, organisations, societies, or publishers.
  • "Green" OA route after publishing in subscription journals - This involves publishing in a subscription journal and then making a version of your article (i.e. preprint, postprint, and/or published PDF) available through a repository such as the institutional repository, ScholarBank@NUS. You may be required to deposit after an embargo period of up to a year. To find out more information, please check Sherpa Romeo for journal OA and copyright options. 

A fantastic resource that you could use to check a journal's OA status and details is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

Another great resource to check the copyright and open access archival policies of journals is Sherpa Romeo.

NOTE: Do check the type of journal that you are publishing in and whether it requires an APCs before submitting your manuscript to the journal. You do not want to be in the situation where you have unknowingly submitted your article to a full OA journal but do not have the funds to pay the APCs when your article has been accepted. Publication fees or APCs are generally classified under fundable items by most research grants, so please perform some due diligence when selecting journals. Refer to our journal selection guide for more tips.