Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Open Access and Scholarly Publishing: Solutions

A library guide with information about Open Access and Scholarly Publishing

Solutions to the Crisis

Most research results are being developed in electronic form, as word processing documents, data sets and images. This information can be shared electronically, via e-mail or posted online. Several solutions to the scholarly publishing crisis are available:

Publish in Open Access Resources

Journals have been developed that are only available online. Their content is free and available to all users. These journals are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).Two open-access encyclopedias have been started: Encyclopedia of Life and the Encyclopedia of Earth. Consider publishing in open access publications instead of commercial journals and reference works. For more information, see the SPARC Open Access brochure.

Support Open Access

Since commercial publishers do not pay editors for their work, volunteer to serve as an editor of an open access journal. See DOAJ for information on open access journals in your field. In addition, when reviewing a colleague for tenure and promotion, treat publications in open access journals and commercial publications equally. Also see Jeffrey Beall's list of Predatory Publishers and Predatory Journals. 

Learn about your Author Rights

Many publishers ask authors to sign a copyright agreement that transfers the copyright of a publication to the publisher. This means that the publisher has the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the work. Authors might even have to ask for permission to use part or all of their own work (including graphs or images) in another publication or on a web site for a class. Retain some rights so that you and others can use the information in your publication. For more information on author rights, see the SPARC Author Rights brochure. Use the SHERPA/RoMEO web site to learn about a publisher's copyright practices. Also consider using the SPARC Author Addendum to reserve some of your rights as an author.

Deposit your publications in an Open Access Repository, Preprint Server, or on your personal web page

Repositories, collections of digital scholarly publications, have been developed at many universities. Some subject repositories have also been developed, such as ArXiv, a repository of physics, mathematics, and computer science publications, and RePEc (Research Papers in Economics), a repository of papers in economics. Publications in repositories can be searched using search systems such as Google Scholar.

PrePrint Servers


Biology & Life Sciences


Earth Sciences



Library & Information Science



Physics, Mathematics & Computer Science


Social Sciences