Skip to Main Content

Gibson D. Lewis Library Libguides

Open Access

Common Misconceptions About Open Access

OA is a scam! 

There are predatory publishers out there, but just because a journal is OA, doesn’t mean that it is predatory or some other type of scam. A true OA resource seeks to provide reliable, high-quality content without instilling pricing or access barriers. To learn more about predatory publishing and how to protect yourself, see the Predatory Publishing guide or contact the library.

OA journals just want my money! 

Some OA journals do request a publishing fee, but the funds do not necessarily have to come out of the author's pocket. OA journals may be able to waive publishing fees if the author or work meets certain criteria. Certain institutions have funding available specifically for authors to publish in OA journals. If the research is being funded by a grant or some other outside source, the author may be able to request funds to cover OA publishing fees.  Before paying out of pocket, discuss your options with your librarian.

OA means that my work is public domain. Anyone can use it without my permission.

OA is not the same thing as the public domain. Authors maintain control over how their work is distributed by selecting the appropriate Creative Commons copyright license for their needs. OA journals have several options for author rights, and you can negotiate your author rights just like with any traditional publisher. In fact, publishing in an OA journal under a Creative Commons license often allows the author more control over the distribution of their work than traditional publishing, where authors often have to give up their copyright to the publisher. To learn more about types of author rights, see the Creative Commons guide, or contact your library.