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Academic Publishing : 2c. Open access publishing

This guide will provide you with information, suggestions, and resources for preparing your written work for publication, including information on open access publishing.

What is open access?

Open access provides free public online access to research literature and other scholarly works. Open access shifts the costs of publishing so that the reader can access content at no costThere are many approaches to open access, and although none are cost-free, many significantly reduce distribution costs while maintaining high levels of rigor and quality and simultaneously increasing research access and visibility. While open access tends to focus on journal literature, some academics also explore options for making their monograph publications freely publicly available.

 There are three basic types of open access publishing:

  • Green – self-archiving and sharing articles in institutional or subject-based repositories
  • Gold –  articles in fully open access journals
  • Hybrid – sometimes called Paid Open Access, refers to subscription journals with open access to individual articles usually when an article processing charge (APC) is paid to the publisher or journal by the author, the author's institution or the research funder. For a full list of hybrid journals, visit Publishers with Paid Options for Open Access from SHERPA/RoMEO.

Some organizations that fund research strongly encourage or require that published results be made openly available. For example, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and  the Social Sciences and Humanitities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) are three funding agencies that established the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy of Publications. This policy requires researchers to provide open access to peer-reviewed articles funded by these agencies within 12 months of publication.

Resources for publishing open access

The following resources offer incentives to RRU researchers for publishing OA:

  • RRU Library Open Access Publishing Fund:
    • Supports eligible RRU researchers (current core faculty, full time staff, and graduate students working under the supervision of a faculty member) who wish to publish in eligible fully Open Access (Gold OA) journals and who are required to pay an Article Processing Fee (APC) to do so and do not have other sources of funding that can be applied to these charges.
    • For more information, please contact Devina Dandar, Scholarly Communications Librarian at or 250.391.2600 ext. 4324
  • SAGE: Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) member institutions receive a 40% discount on article processing charges for SAGE journals.  At the time of submission, please identify yourself as being affiliated with Royal Roads University in order to qualify for this discount. 

Open access myths

Why open access?

Authors are choosing to make their work available on open access because:

  • it means anyone anywhere in the world can read, use and cite your research, encouraging wider impact, collaboration and visibility of work
  • authors often retain more control over and rights to distribute and re-use their intellectual property
  • funders require outputs for their funded research to made available on open access.

Image by Danny Kingsley and Sarah Brown.

Open access 101, from SPARC

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