Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access logo and text

Open access (OA) content is freely available to anyone with Internet access and generally allows for reuse and/or remixing (usually with attribution). The author retains their rights to the content and chooses a license that suits their needs. Want to know more? Read our F.A.Q.


Open Access Policies at Columbia

Why Publish Open access?

VISIBILITY You want colleagues without access to expensive journals to be able to find and read your work without having to pay exorbitant access fees.

PUBLIC INTEREST Your research is of potential public interest and you want to make sure it can be found and read.

REUSABILITY You want to make your educational materials, research, or data available for reuse and remixing by others.

COMPLIANCE Your funder requires that you make your research and/or data publicly available.

INNOVATION Your work is too interdisciplinary or too innovative to fit in any of the traditional journals in your field.

ETHICS You object to the enormous profit margins of the big publishers (35%).

INCREASED CITATION COUNTS Studies have shown that publicly available work is cited more widely and more often.

Open Access screenshot

How to Publish Open Access

Open-access publishing venues include many journals, institutional repositories for anything from conference papers to code such as Columbia's Academic Commons, and disciplinary repositories for preprints and other research materials such as ArXivHumanities Commons CORE, bioRxiv, EarthChem, PhilPapers, and Zenodo (see disciplinary directory). Multidisplinary open-access data repositories include DataverseFigShare, and the Open Science Framework. To search a global registry of research data repositories, visit

How to Open Up Access to Previously Published Work

Already publish something in a closed-access journal? Did you know that many if not most publishers will agree to your archiving (and preserving!) a copy of your article or book in an open-access repository such as Academic Commons? Making work openly available infuses it with new life and provides it the opportunity to have broad, global, equitable reach.

Use this tool to check your article publisher’s policies around OA sharing. If it looks like you can't share, don't despair! Many publishers are willing to negotiate. Use this website, from the Authors’ Alliance, to renegotiate your contract with your publisher and get permission to legally share your work openly.

If you want to make a copy of a monograph or other published research output openly available, check your contract and then contact Copyright Advisory Services here at Columbia.

Open Access Resources


Academic Commons

Providing open, persistent access to the scholarship produced by researchers in the Columbia community.

DOAJ logo

Directory of Open Access Journals 

A searchable database of thousands of open scholarly and scientific journals.


The Idealis 

Overlay journal highlighting the best open-access research in scholarly communication.



Database listing open-access and sharing policies of most journals and publilshers.



Alliance of research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.