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Faculty Research Tools

Digital and physical resources to help faculty with their research, including assistance with data and citation management.

Information about Open Access Publishing:

What is Open Access:

Open access is a movement in scholarship & publishing that advocates for greater online availability and access to research outputs, including publications & data. This movement has grown over the last 20 years and all of us have likely used open-access materials, even if we don't know what the process looks like. 

Benefits of Open Access:

  • Greater access- By participating in Open Access, you are allowing more people (low-income countries, citizen scientists, small institutions, etc.) to find, access, read, and use your research.
  • More citations and altmetrics- Multiple studies have shown that OA journals can provide a "citation advantage". A study from has also indicated that OA articles were clicked on more frequently, downloaded more frequently, added to Mendeley libraries more frequently, and tweeted about more frequently. It's reasonable to believe that this is tied to the increased access.
  • Maintaining peer review- Most open-access journals have a legitimate peer-reviewed process. Highly ranked OA journals have rigorous review practice, similar to their traditional counterparts.
  • Increased control over your content- OA journals often allow the author to retain copyright over their work, which increases the ways that you can reuse & share your work in different formats. For example, you can provide links to your work in your google scholar profile, website, etc.


  • Potential Costs- Because the cost to run the journal is not coming from those who are purchasing access, often the author and/or their institution must pay publication fee. This makes underfunded research and cash-strapped institutions at a disadvantage when it comes to publishing in OA journals. However, many journals make fee-waivers available for these cases. 
  • Newness of some OA journals means that they might not have a Journal Impact Factor- in making a case for impact, article-level metrics may be more useful. (However, there are also many OA Q1 journals.)
  • Misuse of OA- There are a quite a few cases of 'bogus' journals and conferences under the OA banner. Often these are referred to as "predatory journals"- they charge a publication fee, but provide no peer-review. Check out the resources on the side to learn more:


What about Green OA?

Green OA, also called self-archiving, is when the author is able to publish a version of their research on a repository after a specified amount of time has passed since publication. 

Many Colleges and Universities have an institutional repository. Unfortunately, Westminster College does not.

Disciplinary options for self-archiving:  

  • arXiv- For physics, mathematics, and computer science.
  • Cogprints- for psychology and neuroscience
  • RePEc- for economics

If you have questions about other self-archiving platforms, please contact a Librarian.  We will be happy to research the details for you. 

Mendeley can be used for self-archiving purposes, but it is a commercial site and you should read any terms & conditions carefully before uploading.