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Digital Scholarship: Digital Publishing

Open Access

Open Access is the immediate, free availability of scholarly research, with rights to fully use these works in the digital environment. For an info graphic describing different levels of open access, view this one from Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

Why is Open Access important?
  1. Open access gives authors the opportunity to share their findings with a much larger audience, thus propelling the field of research.
  2. Many research projects are funded through federal grants. That money comes from taxpayers. Previously, most scholarly works were published in journals charging expensive subscription fees. Open Access allows taxpayers to read about the projects their money is funding without having to subscribe to pricey journals.
  3. Open Access breaks down the walls between pricey journals and less well-funded researchers so they can have access to research as much as well-funded researchers.
  4. Prices for subscription journals have risen four times faster than inflation. Open Access reduces the expenses paid for access to subscription-based journals (check here for stats from The Association of Research Libraries).

Additional information about Open Access can be found here:

Creative Commons

Authors who make their works openly accessible can protect their published materials through Creative Commons licensing. According to the Creative Commons website, "The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law."

The Creative Commons site has a helpful tool for choosing the appropriate license for your work here:

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational and research materials that are in the public domain or have otherwise been made openly accessible. The key to OER is that the materials can be freely used, adapted, and redistributed. The following guide contains useful information about Open Educational Resources at BYU:


 L  (Library Supported): This resource is provided by the library. Reach out to your subject librarian for support.

 C  (Campus Supported): This resource is provided by another entity on campus other than the library (e.g., IT). Please reach out to them for support.

Third Party Supported (Third Party Supported): This resource is not specifically supported by the library or broader campus. However, your subject librarian may still be able to offer help.

 $  (User Pays for Resource): In order to use this resource, you will need to pay a one-time or subscription-based fee.

Please send comments or suggestions for improvement for this guide to