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Faculty Guide to Open Access (OA): A Holistic Approach


Armacost Library supports a holistic approach to open access (OA) to advance equity and social justice.


Scholar-Centered Equitable Sustainable Bibliodiverse


OA is basically scholarship that is: What this means for students What this means for faculty
(1) Free to read
  • Access to scholarship is not limited by the limits of Armacost Library's budget.
  • Completing courses becomes more attainable when using OA material (this includes OER). Course books and materials are the #2 concern of California college students (California Student Aid Commission, 2019, p. 5).
Access to scholarship is not limited by Armacost Library's budget.
(2) Free of many restrictions to encourage use Students that take a more active role in the creation of scholarship (e.g., graduate students) share the same benefits that faculty do.
  • You can use OA in your research and classes.
  • You can use as much of it as you want.
  • You don't need to wonder if your use qualifies under "fair use."


How Faculty Can Support OA

Deposit your scholarship in OA repositories like Our House in InSPIRe. Libraries have been vocal advocates for OA and have convinced many publishers and presses to support OA. Now we need our faculty to take advantage of publishers' OA policies. The policies below support OA sharing without any article- or book-processing charges (A/BPCs).

Authors may share their article manuscripts (peer-reviewed but not yet copyedited and formatted) after the embargo period "via non-commercial hosting platforms such as their institutional repository."

See details at

Article manuscripts (peer-reviewed but not yet copyedited and formatted) "may be posted in the author's institutional repository" at any time. 

See details at and their open access policy for books.

"Author(s) retain the right to make an [article manuscript (peer-reviewed but not yet copyedited and formatted)] available for public release on any of the following 12 months after first publication ("Embargo Period"): their employer’s internal website; their institutional and/or funder repositories."

See details and their open access book policy at

"As a Taylor & Francis author, you can post your [article manuscript (peer-reviewed but not yet copyedited and formatted)]... to an institutional or subject repository" after the journal's embargo period.


Authors "may self-archive the accepted (peer-reviewed [but not yet copyedited and formatted]) version after an embargo period" of typically 12-24 months. 

See details at

open access icon of an orange, open lock

Negotiate publishing terms to help re-balance reader and user rights in the digital age

open access icon of an orange, open lock

Locate OA versions of research in repositories like InSPIRe by installing scholar-led browser extensions. 

open access icon of an orange, open lock

Search for OA using scholar-led tools that include


Shifts in the Negotiating Power and Rights

Outdated copyright laws, lax government oversight and antitrust enforcement results in an over-reliance on contracts which may

  • sidestep libraries entirely, or
  • offer access under unreasonable terms, and/or
  • muzzle libraries through non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses.


See the 2019 American Library Association statement on Competition in Digital Markets Before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary.

Common Misunderstandings

Open Access ≠ Article/Book Processing Charges (A/BPCs). Corporate publishers like Elsevier have been strong proponents of these revenue protecting mechanisms. However, the majority of OA publications forego these fees which often lack transparency, reinforce the commodification of research, and exacerbate inequities by amplifying research from wealthy institutions and countries. Scholar communities such as libraries and university presses also continue to explore academy-owned alternatives to finance high-quality research.


Open Access ≠ Predatory (or less reputable) publishing. The shift from print to digital challenges the traditional gatekeeping function of scholarly publishers. As a result, non-Western scholar communities, experimental and emerging forms of scholarship are the most likely to carry the "predatory" label. Meanwhile traditional, corporate gatekeepers that reap obscene profit margins carry no such risk.


Open Access ≠ Library cost-savings. Free to access does not mean that high quality scholarship is free to produce. As a result, libraries must steward our budgets to support open access publishing in ways that center scholars, are equitable and sustainable, and that support bibliodiversity. Bibliodiversity supports a diversity of actors in scholarly publishing and recognizes that "knowledge practices and institutions may be structured and enacted in ways that simultaneously privilege certain epistemic values, while being unjust or dismissive toward particular knowers or ways of knowing."