Skip to Main Content

Open Access Scholarly Publishing 101

Introduction to open access publishing of research articles for UVA authors


Open access is an increasingly central phenomenon in scholarly publishing. The UVA Faculty Senate has endorsed a set of Open Access Guidelines with suggested practices for UVA scholars to make their work openly available. This guide will focus on open access publishing of research articles, starting with your options as a UVA author, then defining open access with reference to several contexts, laying out the main pathways for open access publishing, models for funding OA, and related issues.

Open Access Defined

One of the earliest efforts to define "open access" was in a Declaration resulting from a meeting called the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), which took place in 2001. The BOAI Declaration's opening paragraph is an eloquent and concise statement of the motivation behind open access and its goals:

An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.