Open Access


Open Access is a publishing model that makes works freely available, eliminating the cost associated with obtaining and using scholarly works. Open Access allows researchers to share their work with a broad audience free of restrictions.

Sometimes Open Access publishing models also work to reduce permission barriers, allowing users to copy, redistribute, and adapt the works. Open Access publishing doesn’t adhere to just one strict model, but describes a broad range of publisher policies and open permissions.

The Penn State University Libraries' Scholarly Communications and Copyright supports Open Access policies and publishing by supporting the work of University-wide open endeavors with policy and copyright advice, as well as providing instructional and informational services to the community regarding:

  • Author rights
  • Copyright
  • Publishers’ archiving policies
  • Publishing agreements and addenda
  • Funder requirements

Getting Started: 

You can find out more about Open Access by visiting the Penn State Libraries Open Access page.

More Information: 

Open Access Explained by PhD Comics (Youtube)


This service is part of the Research Data category.



  • This is an active service


  • Penn State faculty, staff, and students


  • Open Access centers around providing free access to scholarly research and publications; there is no charge for this service


  • The Office of Scholarly Communications and Copyright at the Penn State Libraries provides guidance, policy development, advocacy, consultations, workshops, and customized presentations on the following matters:
    • Open Access Publishing
    • Affordable Course Content and Open Educational Resources (OERs)
    • Copyright Education and Training
  • The Office of Scholarly Communications and Copyright are available to answer questions via email and appointment. Please use their request form to request a customized presentation for classes, groups, or departments