Skip to Main Content

TUS Logo

OA and OER in TUS: OA

The aim of this guide is to define OA and OER as well as outline their benefits for TUS staff and students

Definition of Open Access (OA)

Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of access charges or other barriers. 

Researchers retain copyrights, there is no embargo period (max of 6 months tolerated), all the research data is shared.

According to the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), released to the public in February 2002, "open access" material means its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

Find out more on BOAI:

OA explained

Open Access in 60 seconds by Brinken, Helene, Jonas Hauss, Jessika Rücknagel (2021) licensed under CC BY 3.0 DE

Benefits of OA to faculty and students

According to the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), the benefits of Open Access include:

  • OA benefits research and researchers, and the lack of OA impedes them.
  • OA for publicly-funded research benefits taxpayers and increases the return on their investment in research. It has economic benefits as well as academic or scholarly benefits.
  • OA amplifies the social value of research, and OA policies amplify the social value of funding agencies and research institutions.
  • The costs of OA can be recovered without adding more money to the current system of scholarly communication.
  • OA is consistent with copyright law everywhere in the world, and gives both authors and readers more rights than they have under conventional publishing agreements.
  • OA is consistent with the highest standards of quality.

10 Reasons for Open Access by, CC BY 4.0. Based on Brinken, H. (2021). 10 Gründe für Open Access via Zenodo, CC BY 4.0.

The future of OA, how do we make it work?

The following recommendations from BOAI will shape the future of OA:

1. On policy

1.1. Every institution of higher education should have a policy assuring that peer-reviewed versions of all future scholarly articles by faculty members are deposited in the institution’s designated repository.

1.2. Every institution of higher education offering advanced degrees should have a policy assuring that future theses and dissertations are deposited upon acceptance in the institution’s OA repository. At the request of students who want to publish their work, or seek a patent on a patentable discovery, policies should grant reasonable delays rather than permanent exemptions.

1.3. Every research funding agency, public or private, should have a policy assuring that peer-reviewed versions of all future scholarly articles reporting funded research are deposited in a suitable repository and made OA as soon as practicable.

1.4. All university and funder OA policies should require deposit in a suitable OA repository between the date of acceptance and the date of publication. The metadata should be deposited as soon as it is available and should be OA from the moment of deposit. The full-text should be made OA as soon as the repository has permission to make it OA.

1.5. We discourage the use of journal impact factors as surrogates for the quality of journals, articles, or authors. We encourage the development of alternative metrics for impact and quality which are less simplistic, more reliable, and entirely open for use and reuse.

1.6. Universities with institutional repositories should require deposit in the repository for all research articles to be considered for promotion, tenure, or other forms of internal assessment and review.

1.7. Publishers who do not provide OA should at least permit it through their formal publishing agreements.


2. On licensing and reuse

2.1. We recommend CC-BY or an equivalent license as the optimal license for the publication, distribution, use, and reuse of scholarly work.


3. On infrastructure and sustainability

3.1. Every institution of higher education should have an OA repository, participate in a consortium with a consortial OA repository, or arrange to outsource OA repository services.

3.2. Every publishing scholar in every field and country, including those not affiliated with institutions of higher education, should have deposit rights in an OA repository.

3.3. OA repositories should acquire the means to harvest from and re-deposit to other OA repositories.

3.4. OA repositories should make download, usage, and citation data available to their authors, and make these data available to the tools computing alternative impact metrics. Journal publishers should do the same, whether or not their journals are OA.

3.5. Universities and funding agencies should help authors pay reasonable publication fees at fee-based OA journals, and find comparable ways to support or subsidize no-fee OA journals.

3.6. When subscription-based or non-OA journals permit any kind of self-archiving, or deposit into OA repositories, they should describe what they permit in precise human-readable and machine-readable terms, under an open standard. These descriptions should include at least the version that may be deposited, the timing of deposits, and the licenses that could be attached to deposited versions. 

3.7. OA repositories should provide tools, already available at no charge, to convert deposits made in PDF format into machine-readable formats such as XML. 

3.8. Research institutions, including research funders, should support the development and maintenance of the tools, directories, and resources essential to the progress and sustainability of OA.

3.9. We should improve and apply the tools necessary to harvest the references or bibliographic citations from published literature. The facts about who cited whom are in the public domain, and should be OA in standard formats for use, reuse, and analysis. This will assist researchers and research institutions in knowing what literature exists, even if they don’t have access to it, and in the development of new metrics for access and impact.

3.10. We should assist in the gathering, organizing, and disseminating of OA metadata in standard formats for all new and old publications, including non-OA publications.

3.11. Scholarly publishers need infrastructure for cross-linking and persistent URLs based on open standards, available at no charge, and supporting linking and attribution at arbitrary levels of granularity, such as paragraph-level, image-level, and assertion-level identification.

3.12. We encourage the further development of open standards for interoperability, and tools to implement those standards in OA journals and repositories.

3.13. We encourage experiments with different methods of post-publication review, and research into their effectiveness.

3.14. We encourage experiments with new forms of the scholarly research “article” and “book” in which texts are integrated in useful ways with underlying data, multimedia elements, executable code, related literature, and user commentary.

4. On advocacy and coordination

4.1. We should do more to make publishers, editors, referees and researchers aware of standards of professional conduct for OA publishing, for example on licensing, editorial process, soliciting submissions, disclosing ownership, and the handling of publication fees. Editors, referees and researchers should evaluate opportunities to engage with publishers and journals on the basis of these standards of professional conduct. Where publishers are not meeting these standards we should help them improve as a first step.

4.2. We should develop guidelines to universities and funding agencies considering OA policies, including recommended policy terms, best practices, and answers to frequently asked questions.

4.3. We encourage development of a consolidated resource where it is easy to follow the progress of OA through the most relevant numbers and graphics. Each bit of information should be updated regularly, and its provenance or method of computation clearly indicated.

4.4. The OA community should act in concert more often. Wherever possible, OA organizations and activists should look for ways to coordinate their activities and communications in order to make better use of their resources, minimize duplication of effort, strengthen the message, and demonstrate cohesion. 

4.5. The worldwide campaign for OA to research articles should work more closely with the worldwide campaigns for OA to books, theses and dissertations, research data, government data, educational resources, and source code.