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Open Access (OA) Periodicals: Open Access Periodicals

Free Periodicals on the Web

Some Background Information

- What is a Periodical?

"Periodicals" are publications that are made available on a regular schedule (magazines, journals, newspapers). 

- Where should I look if I are assigned to find articles from academic journals for an assignment?

ACC Library Services subscribes to many online academic journals restricted to use by ACC students and staff. If used from off-campus you will log in using your ACCeID.

- Where should I look for scholarly articles outside of ACC Library Services' subscriptions?

Open Access Periodicals 

"Open access literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." From

Creative Commons licensed research promotes access and re-use of scientific and scholarly research. This research is available online through open access journals and books.

- Could you give me a good definition of Open Access?

Open Access Overview by Peter Suber

Suber, P. (2019). 4-1. Open Access Overview. In Knowledge Unbound (1st ed.). Retrieved from

- How open is an open access journal?

Find out using the Open Access Spectrum developed by PLoS.


Examples of Open Access Journal Collections

The open access movement is transforming the traditional model of scholarly publishing and challenging established norms for the access, sharing, and re-purposing of knowledge. Three central and influential international documents define the issues surrounding open access: Budapest InitiativeBethesda Statement, and Berlin Declaration. The open access publisher PLOS succinctly identifies the dual components of open access as "unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse." Open access eliminates barriers, such as price and copyright restrictions; impediments that hinder access to scholarship and the knowledge it confers. Open access guarantees research is available online at no cost and permits the transformation of ideas to improve society.

Intro to CloudSource

ACC Library Services provides CloudSource - an open access exploration tool. 

Open Access Publishing Models and Definitions

Models of Open Access publishing are categorized by a Color Naming system:

Gold OA - Works published in an open access journal and accessed free of charge immediately at publication time via the journal or publisher's website with Creative Commons licensing. Most gold OA publishers charge an APC (article publishing charge) for authors. Gold OA uses a process similar to traditional publishing where the author submits a work for peer-review, to be published. 

Examples: PLoS, BioMed Central

Gold Hybrid OA - A mixed open access and closed article access publishing model. The publisher is usually partially funded by subscribers, only providing open access to articles where the authors pays a publication fee (may be up to $5,000).

Green OA (Self-Archiving) - Authors provide access to pre-prints (before peer-review is completed) or post-prints (with publisher permission) in an institutional or disciplinary archive - authors post the work to an open repository where these works may be downloaded free of charge.

Examples: ArXiv or PubMed Central

Bronze OA - Articles are free to read on the publisher page but lack Creative Commons licensing, may revert back to pay-to-view later.

Diamond / Platinum OA - Like Gold OA but these do not charge authors APCs and are usually sponsored by universities, government organizations or researcher groups.

Black OA - Unauthorized digital copying of works, offering free access to paywalled literature


A note about Predatory Publishing

Predatory publishers engage in unfair and deceptive practices with regards to the publication of online academic journals and organisation of scientific conferences. They:

  • Falsely claim rigorous peer review.
  • Claim individuals as editors when those individuals never agreed to become editors.
  • Send solicitations to potential authors on behalf of other academics, without permission from those academics.
  • Give their journals a nearly identical name as another respected journal.
  • Fail to disclose publication fees until after authors submit articles, and demand payment to withdraw the article.
  • Misrepresent the Impact Factor (IF) of their journals.
  • Falsely claim that their journals are included in academic indexes such as the ISI.
  • Falsely claim that respected individuals will participate in conferences to increase attendance.

Anderson, R. (2017). Federal Trade Commission and National Institutes of Health take action against predatory publishing practices. Available from: [Accessed: 2 January 2018].

More information from UNLV Libraries

Directories of Online OA Periodicals and Newspapers

Subject Guide

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Courtney Mlinar
Head Librarian / Associate Professor
Elgin Campus Library
Copyright Officer
Austin Community College
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Elgin, TX 78621

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