Open Access

Information about Open Access to articles and other scholarly texts.

Hopkins Libraries Commitment to Open Scholarship

The Johns Hopkins Libraries affirm a vision of open scholarship that advances research, teaching, and intellectual growth, and furthers the University's mission of knowledge for the world. Open scholarship benefits everyone because it facilitates faster dissemination and access to knowledge by broader audiences. Open scholarship removes barriers to interdisciplinary and international scholarship, facilitates discovery and collaboration across fields, and ensures that scholarship remains accessible through time. For these reasons the JHU Libraries are committed to supporting the immense possibilities of open scholarship.

Your Librarian

Profile Photo
Joanne Helouvry
Eisenhower Library, A Level
Subjects: Education, Psychology

OA Basics

Open Access refers to the practice of making scholarly research publications freely available for reading and re-use. Opening your work can boost readership, increase impact and citations, ensure you get credit for your ideas, and can increase rapid dissemination of and feedback on your research.

If you have questions about scholarly communications, publishing, open access, or how the library can support your scholarly work, please email

If you have questions about copyright, intellectual property, or your rights as a content creator, please visit our Copyright Guide or email

Types of Open Access

  • Diamond or Platinum OA: Publisher’s version of record (VoR) is openly available immediately
    • Content is released with an open license that allows reuse (e.g., a Creative Commons license)
    • Publisher does not charge Article Processing Charges (APCs)
    • No charge to access; no charge to publish
  • Gold OA: Publisher’s VoR is openly available immediately
    • Content is released with an open license that allows reuse (e.g., a Creative Commons license)
    • Gold OA publication requires payment of an APC making this a “pay to publish” model
  • Green OA: Deposit of version of manuscript in an institutional or disciplinary repository
    • Submission version (aka “pre-print”)
    • Post-peer review version (aka “post-print” or “author’s accepted manuscript”)
    • Green OA publication may be delayed due to publisher’s embargo policies
    • Version may or may not have an open license allowing some types of reuse
  • Bronze OA: Articles made free-to-read on the publisher website, without an explicit Open license
    • Publishers sometimes make journal content publicly accessible on their websites for a limited period of time and then revert to allowing access only through subscription or paid access
    • Article does not include an open license allowing some types of reuse

Use this quick tutorial to determine what type of OA you should choose


Finding Reliable Open Access Journals and Books

Since identifying a predatory journal is a process and involves a lot of subjective considerations, there isn't one list of bad actors. You should use one or more of the sites below to help you identify predatory journals. Most of these are 'white lists', or lists of journals that meet certain requirements to prove they are reputable. Some are lists of characteristics for you to look for when considering a journal.

Funder OA Requirements

Many funding insititutions now require recipients to make journal articles freely available to the public. Making journal articles freely available will allow:

  • access to researchers in developing countries,
  • access to researchers at small institutions,
  • taxpayers to see what their monies supported,
  • and support public groups like patient advocacy groups and environmental groups.

The links below provide lists of funding agencies with such mandates. 

Johns Hopkins Open Access Policy