Open Access

Information about Open Access to articles and other scholarly texts.

Hopkins Libraries and 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

Agencies and Reports

Groups across the globe are examining different aspects of the publishing environment. Here are a few groups and some of their reports.

OA Basics

For the purposes of this guide, Open Access refers to making peer-reviewed journal articles freely available for reading and re-use. Terms like Open Access, Open Scholarship, Open Science, Open Source, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources are sometimes used interchangeably or sloppily. Please contact a librarian if you have questions about the use of these terms.

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

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 advocacay groups and environmental groups.

SPARC, ROARMAP and SHERPA/FACT provide lists of funding agencies with such mandates. A Funder Compliance guide is available from the JHU Libraries.

Faculty Open Access Agreements

Faculty and researchers at many universities, institutions, individual schools and units have agreed to make their journal articles freely available to the public. These mandates are generally not tied to funding directives, but are focused on making research (journal articles) generated by a specific group freely available to everyone. University of Oregon law professor Eric Priest analyzed the Harvard OA mandate in this paper.

ROARMAP provides lists of the institutions and units that have these mandates. You can search to view the wide range of mandates and institutions involved. SPARC hosts the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI).

Below are a few of the more prominent institutions that have such a mandate.

What is Open Access by PHD Comics

Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen, with the gang at PHD Comics, explain Open Access for Open Access Week 2012.