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Open Access

Contact for assistance with questions regarding open access

Making Your Articles Open Access

1.) ( automates making a journal article open access in accordance with journal policies - just paste in the DOI and follow the steps.

2.) Sherpa Romeo ( is an online database of academic journals' self-archiving policies. Authors can enter a journal's title and see which version of the pre or post-publication of the manuscript the journal permits them to make open access and when, such as uploading to the Brown Digital Repository (BDR)

3. Have a funder that requires Plan S open access? Use the Plan S-compliant journal finder:

3.) Questions about making a paper open access? Contact your librarian at

Before signing an author copyright/publication agreement

In non-open access publishing models authors are often asked to sign over their copyright to their work to the journal/publisher. The publisher covers the cost of the publication and then charges readers money to access your work, either via subscriptions or a per-article purchase fee (also called a paywall). The journal/publisher usually receives 100% of these financial proceeds in cases of an article and all or some percentage in the case of a monograph.

However, signing over copyright does not have to be all or nothing. Authors can at least ask their publisher for permission to retain certain rights before signing, such as using your own work for teaching purposes, or posting a pre-publication version of a work such as a final peer-reviewed manuscript or pre-peer reviewed manuscript (pre-print) on your personal website or depositing and disseminating the work for free, global access via your institution's online repository like the Brown Digital Repository (BDR), or creating a translation and/or derivative work in the future, among others. Contact for assistance with understanding self-archiving conditions in a publication agreement.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) offers an online addendum form for authors to adapt and fill out to request certain permissions, such as the ability to self-archive a copy of their work on their personal websites and in their institution's repository, to send to journal/publishers before signing the author publication and copyright agreement. The online form is available for download from: Authors receiving permission to self-archive can then deposit their manuscript in the BDR at the appointed time using the upload tool available at or by contacting the BDR at for assistance.

Author rights you may want to ask to retain

  • Use the work/part of the work in your thesis or dissertation
  • Make physical and/or digital copies of the work/part of the work and freely disseminate these copies to students for teaching purposes
  • Post online by depositing and disseminating the work or a version of the work (pre-peer review (pre-print) and/or final post-peer reviewed author manuscript) for free, global access via your institution's online repository (called Green Open Access or Self-Archiving)
  • Post the work or a version of the work on your personal website
  • Create and publish a translation and/or other derivative work in the future