Open Access

Open Access refers to an alternative academic publishing model in which research outputs (including peer-reviewed academic journal articles, theses, book chapters, and monographs) are made freely available to the general public for viewing, and often for reuse. This is unlike the traditional scholarly publishing model under which publishers require institutions or individuals to pay for access to these materials.

Why go Open Access?

Open Access is founded on the principle that research, which is supported in large part by government subsidy, should be made available to the public in order to ensure it has the largest possible impact. This makes your research available to everyone, without price and publisher paywall barriers. It means your research is available to everyone, including:

  • Other researchers and professionals
  • Health care and education workers
  • Policy makers
  • The general public
  • Global audiences

Open Access leads to research that is cited more quickly and more often. It accelerates the rate of scholarly exchange and promotes better reproducibility of research results.

Today many funding agencies including Canada’s Tri-Agencies require making publications and data openly accessible as a condition of receiving a grant. UBC has its own position statement encouraging open access.

How do I make my work Open Access?

There are several ways to make your research open:

  • Publish in an Open Access journal or book platform
  • Archive a peer-reviewed version of your work in cIRcle or other Open Access repository
  • Pay a publisher article processing charges to remove access restrictions.

UBC’s digital repository, cIRcle, can help you archive your work at no charge. If you elect to pay the publisher article processing charges (APCs) these can be charged to most research grants.

Does UBC have funds to support Open Access?

Starting in September 2020, the UBC Open Access Fund for Humanities and Social Sciences Research will support open access charges for faculty researchers in SSHRC-aligned disciplines.  This is part of a pilot program administered by the Library with support from the Provost and VP Research and Innovation.

At UBC Vancouver, CTLT and the Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning offer funding to promote open dissemination, including limited coverage of APCs.  Also at UBC Vancouver, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ Graduate Student fund is available to cover some costs of open access for graduate students.

Does UBC Library offer Open Access publisher discounts?

Yes. UBC Library’s commitment to open access extends to institutional memberships and discounts with a variety of open access publishers and organizations. These memberships provide benefits to researchers at UBC, often through discounts on article submission costs for OA publishing. The Library also provides article processing charge (APC) discounts through our negotiated license agreements with selected publishers via our membership to the Canadian Knowledge Research Network.

How can I find open resources to use?

Openly accessible resources include journal articles but also open data, images, textbooks and more. UBC Library’s website has a search option for open content. Learn more about finding open access content.

With the exception of the images, the content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.