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Course & Subject Guides

Open Access @ Pitt: All About OA

Here you can find out more about Open Access to research and how Pitt and people around the world are engaged in this movement to make high-quality scholarship more freely and widely available and usable.

OA @ Pitt Website

Visit the Open Access @ Pitt website. Here you'll find details on past, present, and future public events surrounding OA, as well as additional resources about Open Access and other scholarly communication topics.

#OpenAccess @Twitter

Scholarly Communication Glossary

Confused by all the Open Access, scholarly communication, and publishing terminology? Check out the ULS Scholarly Communication Glossary for guidance.

What is Open Access (OA)?

Open Access is
  • A family of copyright licensing policies under which authors and copyright owners make their works publicly available
  • A movement in higher education to increase access to scholarly research and communication, not limiting it solely to subscribers or purchasers of works
  • A response to the current crisis in scholarly communication

Culture Change in Academia: Making Sharing the New Norm

Full audio/video recording of Pitt's Open Access Week 2014 event featuring keynote speaker, Erin McKiernan (Neuroscience, Wilfrid Laurier University) and Pitt researchers Brian Beaton (Information Sciences), Gordon Mitchell (Communication), Lara Putnam (History), and Jackie Smith (Sociology)

OA Overview

  • Open Access literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions
  • Works are still covered by copyright law, but Open Access terms apply to allow sharing and reuse
  • Open Access is compatible with the features and services of scholarly literature and communication, including
    • copyright
    • peer review
    • revenue (even profit)
    • print
    • preservation
    • prestige
    • quality
    • career advancement
    • indexing
  • Open Access does not mean an "open door" for publication. All major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on the importance of peer review.

Adapted from Peter Suber's "A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access"

Contact Us

Lauren Collister's picture
Lauren Collister
Hillman Library, G-73
Website Skype Contact: parnopaeus
Jonah McAllister-Erickson's picture
Jonah McAllister-Erickson
Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing
G73 Hillman Library

OA Today

OA Mandates
  • Over 200 universities and research institutions around the world mandate Open Access deposits of scholarly works
  • Source: ROARMAP (February 2014)
OA Journals
  • There are more than 9,800 Open Access journals in 124 countries; together they have published more than 1.5 million articles
  • Source: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (February 2014)
  • Note: Not all OA journals are indexed by DOAJ
OA Repositories

Credit for this Guide

This guide was created by John Barnett. 

Minor revisions were made by Lauren Collister. 

Content of this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons-Attribution 4.0 license. You are welcome to re-use and adapt any part of this guide with credit to the original authors.