Skip to Main Content

Scholarly Communications

Information for the Bates College community on topics in Scholarly Communications including: open access, author's rights, copyright, and more.

What is Open Access?

Orange magnifying glass with open lock."Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment." - SPARC

Benefits of Open Access:

  • Discoverability - maximize your impact by disseminating your research to a broader audience.
  • Author Rights - retain the rights to reuse and distribute your research.
  • Unrestricted access - no paywalls to scholarly research.
  • Everyone benefits - research is useless if it's not shared with the community.

Finding Open Access Resources

Here are some tools that will help build a sustainable Open Access environment while getting you articles at point of need:

  • Open Access Button - The Open Access Button is an app that helps researchers, patients, students and the public get legal access to research they need and request research be made available. This product will help you find both open articles and data. Just download the browser extension and start searching.  This open source tool was funded by Public Library of Science, Jisc, Open Society Foundations, Mozilla Science, and Crowdfunders.
  • Unpaywall - This tool searches and finds full-text research papers as you browse. Data is sourced from open-access repositories including institutional repositories and reprint servers.  Just download the Chrome or Firefox extension and the tool will do the rest. This open source tool was created by OurResearch (formerly: Impactstory) with grants from the National Science Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • Lazy Scholar - Created by Nueroscience PhD student Colby Vorland, Lazy Scholar is a tool that searches and finds free scholarly full texts, metrics, further reading recommendations and provides quick citation and sharing links automatically. 

A preprint is a version of a scholarly or scientific paper that precedes publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly or scientific journal. It allows authors to make their findings immediately and freely available to the community.  Below is a list of current preprint repositories:

  • arXiv - For physics, mathematics, computer science, quanititative biology, quantitative finance, and statistics. Funded by Cornell University and the Simons Foundation as well as member institutions.
  • bioRxiv - For biology. Operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. - eLife journal encourages authors to deposit their preprints in bioRxiv by making the deposit part of the workflow upon submission and removing the need to re-enter submission data into bioRxiv.
  • OSF Preprints - A open preprint repository network incorporating agriculture, engineering, psychological sciences, and social sciences. Operated by the Open Science Framework.
  • Find open access ebooks in your discipline, Directory of Open Access Books.
    • To be included in the DOAB, a publisher must produce books that are open access and meet academic standards.‚Äč

Search for open data set repositories:

  • - a global registry of research data repositories. The registry covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. re3data presents repositories for the permanent storage and access of data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers and scholarly institutions. re3data aims to promote a culture of sharing, increased access and better visibility of research data.
  • The Open Syllabus Project (OSP) collects and analyzes millions of syllabi to support educational research and novel teaching and learning applications. The OSP currently has a corpus of seven million English-language syllabi from over 80 countries.  It uses machine learning and other techniques to extract citations, dates, fields, and other metadata from these documents.  The resulting data is made freely available via the Syllabus Explorer and in bulk for academic research. Created by the American Assembly—an independent non-profit organization affiliated with Columbia University.
  • Creative Commons images - Openverse (formerly: CC Search) is a tool that allows openly licensed and public domain works to be discovered and used by everyone.
  • Smithsonian Open Access - Search over 16 million records of museum objects, archives and library materials including more than 4.4 million online images, audio & videos and blog posts. There is also an advanced search option.
  • Open Pedagogy Notebook - resource designed for educators that are interested in learning more about open pedagogy. The resource provides examples that are both classroom-tested practices as well as budding ideas. Contributions to the resource are welcome. 
    • started by Rajiv Jhangiani and Robin DeRosa

Search for Open Access Articles

Open Access Publishing Models

Open Access Journal: All journal content is available for researchers to read, print, download, distribute or link to without fees (aka Gold OA).

Hybrid Journal: Some select content is open access upon request by author, typically via publication or author fees.

Embargoed Open Access: Subscription model that provides open access to content after an embargo period expires (aka Green OA). 

How "Open" Is The Journal? Use the below chart to find out where your preferred journal sits on the spectrum.

Open Access By Discipline


  • Center for Open Science - COS's mission is to foster change in the culture and incentives that drive researchers’ behavior, the infrastructure that supports their research, and the business models that dominate scholarly communication. 
  • How to Be A Modern Scientist - A freely downloadable ebook containing high level advice about which tools to use, how to use them, and what to look out for in the modern science world. This book is appropriate for scientists at all levels who want to stay on top of the current technological developments affecting modern scientific careers. 


  • Open Library of Humanities - OLH recognizes that the economics of the humanities are different and is dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs).

Social Science:

  • Social Science Research Network - SSRN is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research and is composed of a number of specialized research networks in each of the social sciences.