The movement toward Open Access (OA) is now more than two decades in the making. It arrived in response to the rising costs of journal articles and other scholarly materials. These high costs have limited access to research, and have often eliminated access for researchers who are not connected to research libraries, especially outside of Europe, North America, and parts of East Asia. Because Open Access research is freely available, it offers faster access to content and can result in more readers than materials that are behind a paywall.

Broadly, there are two kinds of Open Access publishing: paid content, or “Gold Open Access,” where an author or its institution has paid a publisher to make the research freely available; and self-archiving content, or “Green Open Access,” where an author has archived some version of the research in an openly available repository. This page will provide details of both kinds of OA publishing. 

Options for Publishing Open Access at Connecticut College

Read & Publish Agreements

Even though many researchers continue to pay publishers a fee, known as an article processing charge (APC) to publish their work, increasingly libraries are negotiating deals with publishers that provide access for campus users to read articles, along with the ability for faculty and students to publish open access articles at no cost to them. These deals are called “read and publish agreements,” and can also be known as “transformative agreements.” As of January 2024 the Connecticut College Library has secured “Read and Publish” agreements with four academic publishers. Information for those wishing to publish under one of these agreements is available here:

Additionally, the Connecticut College Library is providing $10,000 to the Dean of the Faculty to help defray article processing charges for publishers through which the library currently does not have an agreement. These funds are available through the regular application process through the R.F. Johnson Faculty Development Fund. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.

Finally, Connecticut College Library participates in Open Access publisher MDPI’s Institutional Open Access Program. Through this program, authors affiliated with Connecticut College are automatically afforded a 10 percent discount on article processing charges.  

Self-Archiving Open Access

Connecticut College’s institutional repository, Digital Commons @ Connecticut College, provides a platform for authors to self-archive their research, and thus participate in “Green Open Access.” To help encourage participation, the faculty of Connecticut College adopted an Open Access Policy in 2012. The policy seeks to make scholarship produced by the faculty of the College freely available to all, unless prohibited by the licensing agreement between the author and publisher.

What do I need to do in order to submit an article?

When you have an article accepted for publication at a peer-reviewed journal, forward the library an electronic copy of the manuscript after peer review, but before the publisher has finalized it (i.e. the post-print copy). Consulting with the faculty member, library staff will then determine whether it is permitted to place the article online and under what conditions. About 70 percent of scholarly journals allow for some form of free republication of traditionally published research.

What conditions do publishers attach to Open Source self-archiving?

Most publishers require that we explicitly indicate the journal, issue, and page numbers for the published version of the article. Many also require that we create a link to the subscription-only version of the article online. Some publishers allow, or even require, that the post-print is replaced with a pdf of the final published version as it appears in the journal. Some publishers require an embargo on Open Access self-archiving that may range from six to twenty-four months.

What if the journal does not allow for any Open Source self-archiving?

If no self-archiving is allowed, the article will not be posted online. There will be no action contrary to any publisher’s policy concerning republication. If the author wishes, library staff can create a record for the article in Digital Commons and link to the subscription-only version online.

Can I put research that is not peer reviewed or creative work in Digital Commons?

It will not be required under the proposed Open Access policy, but conference papers, reviews, articles for non peer-reviewed publications, fiction, poetry, etc. may be posted in Digital Commons, as long as it is allowed by the publisher. Post-prints of articles published before the adoption of the policy may be posted online as requested.

What are the benefits to me as an author?

Several studies of self-archived research in the natural and social sciences have shown that these Open Access articles receive more citations than articles that are not self archived in the same issues of the same journals. The number of citations is also more likely to hold steady or increase over time.  

What about copyright issues? Is copyright violated by putting published articles in an open repository?

The Open Access policy requests that authors grant a license to Connecticut College to freely display their research on the Internet, subject to the terms and conditions of the authors’ agreements with their publishers. The author or publisher will continue to retain copyright. All of the rights and duties that exist in traditional publication remain in an Open Access environment, including the ability to prosecute in cases of piracy or plagiarism.

So, I turned articles in to IS for inclusion in Digital Commons.  What does that look like?

Follow this link to see one author’s articles in Digital Commons:

I already have my own website. Can I just put my research there?

If you want to maintain your own website, the best solution would be to link from your site to the archived copy in Digital Commons. Digital Commons presents several advantages for the author. There are multiple backup systems for the Digital Commons servers. Documents in Digital Commons are more visible to search engines. Digital Commons also compiles monthly reports for authors documenting the number of downloads of each paper and the referring sites researchers used to find each paper.

I understand the benefits, but do not want my article to be made Open Access.

The policy has an opt-out provision; no member of the faculty will be forced to publish in Open Access.  

There were multiple coauthors for my article. What are my obligations to them?

It is the practice in self-archiving that coauthors do not need to be notified in advance of their paper being placed online. Repositories do indicate all authors of a paper and most list institutional affiliation at the time of publication. If you wish to notify your coauthors in advance of making your article available, you are free to do so. If you do not want to make your paper available because you cannot notify your coauthors, that is permissible under the proposed policy.