SPARC is pleased to join with PLOS and OASPA in announcing the release of an update to the popular HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum (OAS) guide. The guide, initially released in late 2012, is used by authors, libraries, research funders, and policy makers, among others, to map publisher policies against a grid of Open Access considerations, including – reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, automatic posting, and machine readability. The HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum guide lays out, in descriptive fashion, the array of polices a journal can have in the continuum between “Open” and “Closed”.
In the nearly two years since this resource was developed, SPARC, PLOS, and OASPA have solicited feedback from the scholarly communication and publishing communities. In addition, we have tested the HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum guide against more than 100 distinct journal policies, as publically displayed on publisher websites. Based on the results of these conversations and activities, we have modified a number of elements to better reflect some nuances not captured in the initial version. Among the changes are the following:
- An adjustment to the Reuse Rights category to address journals that allow reuse of some, but not all, articles.
- Substantial revisions to the Copyrights column to focus less on which party owns the copyright and more on what authors are allowed to do with their rights.
- The addition of a time dimension within the Author Posting Rights category to accommodate not just what version an author can post and where, but also when.
- The inclusion of language in the Automatic Posting category that encompasses non-biomedical repositories, as well as an adjustment to address journals that automatically post some, but not all, articles.
- A modification of the Machine Readability category to better reflect what is possible and what is practical in today’s publishing environment.
SPARC is eager for scholars, publishers, funding agencies, and other stakeholders to use the HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum guide as a practical tool to inform authoring choices, policy development, and compliance checking, among other activities.