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Open Access 'Myths'

Although open access to academic research is such a hot topic right now, as more and more governments and institutions adopt these policies, there are still some "myths and misunderstandings" that are holding it back, Peter Suber writes in The Guardian.

Suber, an open access advocate and director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, addresses these problems this week during the sixth global Open Access Week.

First, there is a myth that all open access is the 'gold' variety, the type used by journals, but nearly every open access policy at universities or funding agencies are 'green', which is the self-archiving method used for most institutional or subject-focused repositories, Suber says.

Another misconception is that most open access journals charge publication fees, he writes, explaining that in fact more than two-thirds of open access journals do not charge fees, and most author-side fees are paid by the funding agencies or the universities, rather than the authors themselves.

Mandates for 'green' open access do not infringe on the academic freedom to submit articles to any journal the researcher chooses, he adds. The reason why "literally all university oepn access mandates are green" is because they respect the author's "freedom to publish where they please," he says.