Discovery of Scholarly Open Access Content: What is Open Scholarship?

Looking for access to scholarship without having to sign in? This guide provides pathways to finding scholarly open access content and highlights major initiatives with digital humanities and open scholarship

Open Scholarship Defined

Open Scholarship is defined by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) as encompassing open access, open data, open educational resources, and all other forms of openness in the scholarly and research environment, is changing how knowledge is created and shared. 

Isn't all scholarship freely available?

When academic authors sign their copyright ownership over to scholarly commercial publishers, the rights to provide free and open access to the published content transfers from the author to the publisher even if no money exchanges hands between the two. Scholarly commercial publishers make significant profits off of the scholarship they package and sell back to academic libraries as journal subscriptions, big deal packages, and ebook collections. 

What can scholars do?

Scholarly authors can ask to amend their publishing contracts to allow for immediate deposit into their local institutional repositories or in subject preprint portals of their accepted scholarship. Authors can also choose to publish their content in open access books, open access journals, and open data portals. 

Is open scholarship peer reviewed?

OA journals and books are differentiated by their business models, not in their manner of editing or peer review. There are thousands of peer-reviewed open access scholarly journals and books; currently, hundreds of them are indexed in Web of Science; inclusion in Web of Science is an indicator of high quality and high impact. OA preprint services are often moderated by scholar review panels. 

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