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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Education Research

Increasing Access to Your Work

What is Open Access & Why Does it Matter?

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research to other scholars and the public. Expanded access creates an environment where research can have a wider reach and quicker discovery. Open access to research also means that research funding can have a deeper impact by allowing others to freely and quickly build on that scholarship and data.


Directory of Open Access Journals - A directory of open access journals from all disciplines. Not every included title is high-impact, but there is a rigorous attempt to week out predatory and illegitimate publishers.

Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association - A association of respectable publishers that are committed to open access, and great place to find an open access publisher you can feel comfortable publishing with.

SPARC - "SPARC is a global coalition committed to to making Open the default for research and education." Their site is a great place to get started if you want to learn more about open access.

Archiving Pre/Post-prints

When your author agreement allows for self-archiving rights, take advantage of that opportunity to share your work with the world! If your work lives beyond the paywall of a journal site, it's more likely to be found and cited by a wider audience. Institutional or disciplinary repositories are great archiving options for many reasons.

  • Repository content is included in Google Scholar searches, so your work is more easily found by other researchers
  • You'll receive a stable link to the document, which can be easily shared and added to your personal website
  • Often repositories will do to work of uploading your documents and creating metadata (to increase discovery of your work)
  • Repositories take responsibility for preservation of the document and maintenance/updating of related data

Texas ScholarWorks - A repository for research conducted by UT scholars

ERIC - A repository for federally funded research about education

Funding Compliance

If your research was funded by federal dollars, you are required to make your research available to the public. Your librarian is happy to answer questions or help you navigate this process.

  • IES policy - Final version of the manuscript accepted for publication should be submitted to ERIC. 
  • NIH policy - Final version of the manuscript accepted for publication should be shared with PubMed Central.
  • NSF policy - Final version of the manuscript accepted for publication should be deposited with the NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR)

In addition to sharing your manuscripts, your data must also be made public.This always begins with a good Data Management Plan in your grant application. Don't hesitate to ask your librarian for help when developing your DMP as they can make or break an otherwise great funding proposal.

Author Agreements

When your article is accepted for publication, pay attention to the author agreement and make sure to take advantage of any opportunities you have to make pre/post-prints, or the paper itself, open to as wide an audience as possible!

SHERPA/RoMEO is a searchable database of author agreements and a great place to find a journal's standard policy regarding article sharing and self-archiving.

Creative Commons

If you've authored something you are not likely to publish in an academic journal, but would like to share with the world, make sure to copyright your work and make your reuse preferences clear.

Creative Commons offers a quick, easy and legally-binding way to place terms of use and a copyright statement on your work.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.