Electronic Journals and Public Access: Changes in Scholarly Communication
The most common method of scholarly communication in the health sciences is publication in a peer-reviewed book or journal. Peer-reviewed journals were formerly available only through paid subscription, but recent developments in scholarly communication are changing how journal articles are accessed. Greater accessibility of scientific and clinical journal articles was driven in part by a desire to see government-supported research made easily available to its funders: the taxpayers.
To learn specifically about how changes in scholarly communication impact health sciences libraries outside of academia, see Scholarly Communication: Issues for Health Sciences Libraries in Clinical Settings.
Public Access - Describes the policy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to ensure public access to the published results of NIH-funded research. NIH Public Access Policy Implications, April 2012.
Open Access - a term used differently by different groups to describe journals or articles that are freely available online. The rights to download, copy, distribute, and use these freely available works vary from publication to publication.
Sources of Open Access and Public Access Content
From the National Library of Medicine:
- PubMed: Use the Free Full Text filter link in the upper right quadrant of the results screen to limit your results to content that is freely available on the Web.
- PubMed Central: A public archive of journal articles
- BioMed Central
Publisher of peer-reviewed, open access biomedical research
- Directory of Open Access Journals
List from Lund University, Sweden
- Highwire Press
Free Online Full-text Journals
Free Access to Developing Economies
- Institutional Repositories
OpenDOAR: Directory of Open Access Repositories
- Medknow Publications
Open access, peer-reviewed, indexed, scholarly journals
- Public Library of Science
Non-profit organization of scientists and physicians
To Check Copyright Policies:
- SHERPA/RoMEO database
search by publisher or journal title
Policies and Projects
- NIH Public Access Policy- Frequently Asked Questions
see also: "Why Should You Care About the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy?" by Michelle Volesko Brewer, MLA News, January 2009
see also: Guide for Research Universities from ARL
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
- Alliance for Taxpayer Access
Organizations supporting open public access to taxpayer-funded research
- Creative Commons
Flexible licensing options for authors, artists, and educators
- Budapest Open Access Initiative
Sponsored by the Open Society Institute
- Access to Research Initiative (HINARI)
Free or low-cost journal access for developing countries
- OA Tracking Project
A social tagging project to capture open access developments comprehensively and in real time