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Scholarly Communication@WSU

Open Access

Oct. 22nd-26th is Open Access Week@WSU

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its sixth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

From Oct. 22nd - 26th, WSU Libraries are hosting a series of events relevant to copyright and fair use, open access, journal publishing, and WSU's Institutional Repository, Digital Commons. Please join us for these events and learn more about Open Access initiatives on the WSU campus.


What is Open Access?

Open access is a term for barrier-free online access to scholarly literature. Coined in 2002, open access has evolved into an international movement concerned with many issues related to scholarly commmunication: rising journal costs, the economics of publishing, author copyright retention, free-access to publicly funded research, digital publishing, peer review, and self-archiving. In short, it is the effort to create innovative publisher business models to replace charging readers and creating access barriers to peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific literature.

Open Access 101, from SPARC from Karen Rustad on Vimeo.

In the scholarly and scientific communities as well as higher education institutions, open access has taken shape through various projects aimed at increasing the availability of scholarly literature and materials such as:

Growth of Open Access

In the past five-years, open access has experienced a dramatic growth in support and innovation, demonstrated through the production of open-access journals, repositories, and mandates. Below are some numbers that indicate growing support of the open access movement:

  • There are now over 5,000 registered peer-reviewed open access journals, growing at a rate of 2 journals per day over the last year. By some estimates, these numbers indicate that nearly 20% of the world's peer-reviewed journals are open access.
  • As reported by Bjork et al in PLoS One, about 1 in 5 articles published in 2009 are now freely available.
  • The number of repositories have nearly tripled since 2005, from 400 to just under 1,700 today. These 1,700 repositories are collectively contributing an average of 14,000 open access items per day.
  • As of June 2010, there are more than 220 open access mandates adopted by institutions worldwide. 42 of these mandates have been adopted in 2010.
  • In the past year, over 120 journals began contributing all their content as open access to PubMedCentral.

Statistics from: Morrison, H. (2010). Dramatic growth of open access: June 30, 2010 edition. Imaginary journal of poetic economics. Blog available at: growth of open access. Data available at:

Open Access@WSU

Wayne State Libraries have actively encouraged the spread of open access through several initiatives.

  • As an institutional member of BioMed Central, WSU Faculty and graduate students receive 15% off of article processing charges when publishing in open access journals such as BioMed Central, Chemistry Central, or Physical Math Central. WSU became a member of BioMed Central out of a partnership between WSU Libraries and the Office of the Vice President for Research.
  • The libraries promote the use of quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals by inserting open access journal titles into our library catalog—thereby increasing the visibility of these journals.
  • Provide easy and free method for open access publishing for faculty, staff and students via Digital Commons@WSU, an electronic publishing and archiving tool. Learn more about Digital Commons@Wayne State…
  • Provide open access options for disseminating student electronic theses and dissertations.

Open Access Resources