Open access publishing and publications have experienced substantial growth, expansion and uptake in recent years. What exactly is an open access publication? There are many definitions, but in a nutshell an open access publication is a publication that provides immediately free online access to all users worldwide.
This may sound like a tall order, and yet there are to date over 4000 journal publications that fit this definition. The need for this type of access has been driven by the out-of-control costs for scholarly publications. Statistics kept by the Association for Research Libraries show that that between 1986 and 2006 journal prices have increased by 321%, while inflation has increased 68%. At research institutions around the world, scholarly work is submitted to commercial publishers only to be bought back by libraries at those same institutions at immense costs. The current system of scholarly publishing is not sustainable. Today the LANL Research Library has a world-class journal collection in science and technology which is under siege and will not last without changes in scholarly publishing.
So, why should you consider publishing in an open access publication?
There are two types of publishing options available (1) traditional and (2) open access. The Traditional option is provided and managed by ProQuest. It is a required and a default option in the system. Open access is provided by SUrface (SU’s digital repository) and is an opt-out option.
Under each option, students can also apply an embargo to their dissertation and/or thesis, which is a restriction placed on the dissertation and/or thesis for a specified length of time. For example, if a 6-month embargo is placed on the work, the dissertation and/or thesis will be not available until 6 months later after student’s official degree date. Embargo periods are usually 6 months, 1 year and 2 years. If necessary, longer embargo periods may also be requested with approval from Dean of the Graduate School.