Skip to main content

Open Access Publishing: What is Open Access?

open access

Related Resources

What is Open Access? by PHD Comics

Nick Shockey, Jonathan Eisen and the gang at PHD Comics explain open access in 8 minutes, 24 seconds.

Unrestricted Access to Scholarly Output

Open Access (OA) - Increasingly expensive journal prices and the ascension of electronic publishing created the Open Access movement, a demand for free and unrestricted access to peer-reviewed scientific articles. Since 2001, standards and protocols for OA have been created by a variety of initiatives and organizations. The core tenets of Open Access are:

  • Users should have free, irrevocable, worldwide, and perpetual right to access OA works
  • Users should be able to copy, use, distribute, and make derivative works, as long as proper attribution of authorship is made
  • Authors should place a copy of the OA work into at least one public online repository upon publication

As a supporting member of BioMed Central, Mount Sinai authors receive a 15% discount on article processing charges for all journal articles - a slightly higher discount for case reports and other kinds of content.  We have many BMJ subscirptions and are members of BMJ Learning and BMJ Case Reports.  Sinai authors may submit case reports to these publications at no charge. 

Publication costs - Although access to material is free publication costs remain, and most OA publishers use an "author pays" model wherein the creator of an accepted article pays the costs of editing and distribution.  (All Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai authors receive a discount on this publishing fee with the open access journal publisher BioMed Central.)

Author beware - It is the author's responsibility to judge the quality of journals.  Check the quality and standards of any journal before submitting your manuscript.  Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers