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Open Access

A collection of open access (free) resources. Includes journals, ebooks, and primary sources.

Open Access Publishing

There are two main options for Open Access publishing:

  • Hybrid journals - a traditional academic journal that allows authors to publish open access articles for a fee (article processing charge or APC). The publisher charges an author (or another entity on their behalf ) an APC fee once the author’s journal article is accepted for publication. There is significant variation in the amount charged for APCs. This charge opens the article to all readers on the publisher’s platform, sometimes (and preferably) under a Creative Commons or similar license that allows for broad reuse rights.
  • Fully open access journals - every article published in the journal is available for free without authors paying article processing charges. The costs to produce content (articles, journals, books) are covered without the author’s financial participation, and without additional processing fees. The materials are open upon publication with no content subscriptions required for access.


View the Directory of Open Access Journals to search for more open access journals. There are search refining options to exclude journals that charge APCs. 

What is a Transformative Agreement?

A Transformative Agreement is a "contract negotiated between institutions (e.g., universities or libraries) and publishers that transforms the business model underlying scholarly publishing towards a fully open access model." (University of Nottingham, 2022) 

Transformative agreements shift the finances of publishing an article from a Pay to Read model to a Pay to Publish model.

In a traditional Pay to Read model, the publisher generally collects no payment until after the article is published. They recoup the cost of publication through subscriptions and reprints. In this model, the author generally signs their copyrights to the publisher.

Transformative Agreements are an outcome of a change from Pay to Read to a Pay to Publish model.  Authors and institutions bear some of the cost of publishing the article through an Article Publishing Charge (APC) paid to the publisher.  But the article then becomes free for anyone to access and use: there is no subscription needed, nor a reprint charge or pay-per-view cost. The article becomes an Open Access, or OA article.   

What's also transformative about the model? In addition to a shift in finances, the journals in which those articles appear can transform from a traditional Pay to Read journal to one that is all OA, as all of the articles can be sustained by the APCs.

Who Benefits from a Transformative Agreement?

  • Authors: Authors whose institutions have signed a Transformative Agreement with their journal/publisher can have their articles published OA without worrying about financing an APC by themselves. These authors can also apply for waivers for times when APC funding may not be available from the institution. They can expect the same, high-quality peer-review and copyediting process they expect from that journal. They retain their copyrights, too. Publishing OA has been found to increase awareness of your work, too.  
  • Researchers: Clinicians, independent researchers, former students and potential collaborators worldwide will have access to your OA article without a paywall.   
  • Publishers: Can maintain their high publication standards from manuscript review to editing to archiving and database interface updates through APCs

SUNY has entered into a transformative agreement with Cambridge University Press that began January 2023. See the drop down menu for more information about the Cambridge transformative agreement and potential benefits to faculty and students.

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons Licenses "give everyone from individual creators to large institutions a standardized way to grant the public permission to use their creative work under copyright law. From the reuser’s perspective, the presence of a Creative Commons license on a copyrighted work answers the question, 'What can I do with this work?'"

Some OA publications require a specific CC license, while others allow authors to choose a CC liclense.  Either way, it's best to be informed.

  • Click on the link above to peruse the options.  If you are new to CC licensing read through the entire page as t here is important information that should be considered when opting for a CC license.
  •   This video offers a great introduction to the components of a CC license.

The License Chooser will not only help you select a license, it will generate the necessary licensing statement.