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CSU ePress: Information Guide: Open Access

Budapest Open Access Initiative

The Budapest Open Access Initiative defined Open Access (OA) as the “availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of 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."

Open Access


Attributions for the content about Open Access and Open Educational Resources are available on this guide.

Why OA Is Important to Faculty and Students

At CSU, OA provides support to faculty by making their work openly available in either repositories (such as the CSU ePress) or Open Access journals.  When their research is in an Open Access journal or the CSU ePress, faculty keep the copyrights of their work so they are free to share it with the public. Open Access also helps faculty by providing them with free, up-to-date research published in Open Access journals.

At CSU, OA provides students with up-to-date research for their classes and research projects that is free of charge and available after graduation for lifelong learning.

Open Access Defined

Open Access (OA) refers to freely available online information that can be fully used in the digital environment. OA resources are free of charge; authors keep their copyright; there is no embargo to the information; and an open license (such as Creative Commons) is usually applied.

The Relationship Between OA and OER

You may have heard about Open Educational Resources, or OER.

OA and OER are closely related.  Both use open licenses (such as Creative Commons) that make OA and OER freely available online.  Likewise, OA and OER are both used in educational settings:

  • OA allows for university mandates that specify how the institution can support researchers in making their work openly available;
  • OA also promotes public policies that endorse publicly funded research that is made freely available online;
  • OA supports faculty and students by providing them with free, online access to up-to-date research.  OA resources are available after graduation for lifelong learning;

  • OER refer to teaching and learning materials that are made freely available for the public to use, share, and build upon the content to better serve all students.  These materials are different from "free to students and faculty" library resources that are heavily licensed and do not provide access after graduation.  OER are available after graduation for lifelong learning;

The scope of OA and OER is slightly different, however.  OER are for use in the teaching/learning setting of both K-12 and the university and include the use of educational resources, such as textbooks. OA generally deals with academic publishing.  It allows for authors to publish in peer-reviewed journals or self-archive in repositories.  However, it is important to note that OA resources can be used in the educational setting after being published in journals or repositories.

Types of Open Access

Green OA = ‚Äčthe work (usually post or pre prints) is made freely available in a repository, such as the CSU ePress.

Gold OA = the final version of the work is made freely available by the publisher, typically by publishing in an Open Access journal and making the article available under an open license (such as Creative Commons).

Open Access: The Book

Creative Commons License