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HowOpenIsIt? A Guide for Evaluating the Openness of Journals

Open Access

Created by SPARC in conjunction with PLOS and the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA), the HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Guide standardizes Open Access terminology in an easily understandable, comprehensive resource.

This guide provides a means to identify the core components of OA and how they are implemented across the spectrum between “Open Access” and “Closed Access”. Journals have built policies that vary widely across the six fundamental aspects of OA – reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, automatic posting, and machine readability. This, in turn, has caused confusion among authors seeking to make informed publishing decisions, funders seeking to formulate and enforce their access policies, and other stakeholders within the research ecosystem. The HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Guide consolidates the key elements of journal policies into a single, easy-to-follow resource that interested parties can use to move the conversation beyond the deceptively simple question of, “Is It Open Access?” toward a more productive evaluation of “How Open Is It?”.

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