University Library

Open Access for students

Open Access is free, unrestricted access on the Internet to scholarly publications. They are free of most copyright and licensing restrictions in order to read, download, copy and disseminate a publication. However, the author remains the owner and there is a strict condition that the author must always be credited. Moreover, no permission is granted to change the publication or to distribute it for commercial purposes.

What is Open Access?

The purpose of Open Access is to improve the dissemination and feedback of scholarly literature. Scientific research results should not only be reserved for subscription holders of expensive journals and deserve to be accessed by a much broader audience. The internet offers the possibility to make research results freely accessible worldwide.

Advantages of Open Access

For the researcher or author, Open Access increases the audience for a publication far beyond the audience of any priced journal. Open Access provides greater visibility of your work, which leads to more citations and greater research impact.

As a reader, you have barrier-free access to the literature you need for your research. Access is not constrained by subscription costs or library budgets. Open Access puts rich and poor on an equal footing.

For teachers, Open Access eliminates the need for permissions to reproduce and distribute content, for the author has given permission in advance by publishing in Open Access.

Students no longer have to depend on journal subscriptions the library offers. You always have access and it doesn’t matter whether you are on the campus network or not.

For universities, Open Access increases the visibility of their faculty which leads to increased visibility of the university. It also advances their mission to share knowledge.

Disadvantages of Open Access

Researchers tend to be rated by their ability to publish in journals with a high impact factor. Compared with traditional journals, Open Access journals are much younger. It takes some time before these journals acquire an impact factor and gain the same reputation that traditional journals already have.

The number of high-quality, fully Open Access journals varies across different disciplines. Some disciplines have very few or not enough.

Researchers can be spammed by Open Access publishers of often dubious quality. These publishers try to mislead and cheat researchers. Beall’s list of predatory Open Access journals offers an overview of unreliable journals and publishers.

Most universities have not yet made provisions for the payment of Author Processing Charges (APCs), like Open Access funds or payment arrangements. Furthermore, there is the practice of double dipping, paying twice for the same content: once via a journal subscription fee and secondly via APCs for gold Open Access articles in subscription journals.