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Request for Public Comment

Not all Open Access is created equal.  To move beyond the seemingly simple question of Is it Open Access?” PLOS, SPARC and OASPA have collaborated to develop a resource called HowOpenIsIt?” This resource identifies the core components of open access (OA) and how they are implemented across the spectrum between “Open Access” and “Closed Access”.  We recognize there are philosophical disagreements regarding OA and this resource will not resolve those differences.

We are seeking input on the accuracy and completeness of how OA is defined in this guide. Download the open review draft and provide feedback via the comment form on the SPARC site.  In its final form, this guide will provide an easily understandable, comprehensive, and quantifiable resource to help authors make informed decisions on where to publish based on publisher policies.  In addition, funders and other organizations will have a resource that indicates criteria for what level of OA is required for their policies and mandates.

This OA guide is aimed toward a wide audience of researchers, authors, and policy-makers.  Your feedback will help us more precisely define OA across a number of categories.  The goals of the guide are to:

  •  Move the conversation from “is it open access?” to “how open?”
  • Clarify the definition of OA
  • Standardize terminology
  • Illustrate a continuum of “more open” versus “less open”
  • Enable people to compare and contrast publications and policies
  • Broaden the understanding of OA to a wider audience

In 2002, the Budapest Open Access Initiative articulated the basic tenets of OA for the first time.  Since then, thousands of journals have adopted policies that embrace some or all of the open access core components related to: readership; reuse; copyright; posting; and machine readability

Why now and why this resource?

OA is gaining momentum and we are seeing a groundswell of support from authors and funders to colleges and governments. Despite this progress there is still confusion about OA.  With this guide we aim to provide greater clarity regarding its definition and components.  All suggestions will be considered and a final version will be released during Open Access Week (October 22 -28, 2012).  The comment period will close on Monday, October 8, at 5:00pm (EST).






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