Skip to main content

Scholarly Communication

The process by which scholars and institutions create, disseminate, preserve, and use research results is commonly described as scholarly communication.

What is Open Access?

Open Access graphic by Flickr user Mllerustad

Open access is a movement that seeks to make scholarly materials such as published and unpublished articles, manuscripts, and datasets available to the public in a way that they never have been before.

Open access literature is usually defined as "digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions" and "is entirely compatible with peer review" (Suber, 2008).

It is made possible by the distribution power of the Internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder (Suber, 2008).

Open access materials are reported to be downloaded more than traditionally published materials (Davis et al, 2008), to provide more opportunities for easier collaboration among researchers, and are even cited more than restricted (non-open access) materials in some disciplines (Lawrence, 2001).

Open Access 101: "It doesn't have to be this way.''

This short animated video explains open access to research and why it is important.

OA Resources

Open Access Options at UMass Amherst

1. ScholarWorks. UMass Amherst is home to ScholarWorks, an open access digital repository for scholarly materials. ScholarWorks provides many tools for open access scholarly communication, including support for:

The ScholarWorks staff is constantly recruiting more content for the repository, and wishes to build new partnerships with individual scholars, departments, and research centers. Visit ScholarWorks in order to find out more.

2. ESENCe (Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse Beta)

This beta site for a national digital library for ethics in science and engineering is designed to benefit the national and international scientific and engineering research communities.  ESENCe is NSF (National Science Foundation) funded and uses state-of-the-art digital tools to preserve and widely disseminate a variety of materials on ethics and the responsible conduct of research in science and engineering disciplines.

3. InterNano (Resources for Nanomanufacturing)

InterNano is an information clearinghouse for the nanomanufacturing community. It is a service of the National Nanomanufacturing Network. InterNano supports the information needs of the nanomanufacturing community by bringing together resources about the advances in applications, devices, metrology, and materials that will facilitate the commercial development and/or marketable application of nanotechnology.

What research says about open access and citation frequency

Citation Advantage of Open Access Scholarship

Study concludes: "Open access legal scholarship... can expect to receive 58% more citations than non-open access writings of similar age from the same venue."

Scholars find high quality work that gets cited often

Whether a college or university mandates a scholar to put his or her work in a publicly accessible Website, or the scholar is free to self archive as little or as much as he or she desires, the open access work is often cited, according to this article from PLoS ONE, an open access science journal.

Blog feed: Open Students

A new blog for students about open access to research. Check out an article (Fair game: a grad student’s adventures in fair use and copyright) written by Chris Boulton, Communication, UMass Amherst.


RSS feed from SPARC - Campus-Based Publishing Partnerships

Recent news regarding strategies campuses can use to publish openly accessible materials, among other things

© 2016 University of Massachusetts Amherst.