Understanding Open Access

Open Access FAQs

What services does Lane Library offer related to open access?

Lane Library offers a variety of services related to open access. See the Open Access at Lane Library tab for information about our agreements with publishers to offer discounted rates on article processing charges. Lane's Research and Instruction team also provides consultations and workshops on open access and open science-related topics. Check out our upcoming events and classes page for upcoming workshops or schedule a 1-1 meeting with your liaison librarian. To engage with the broader biomedical and health sciences community on issues related to open access and open science, Lane Library also organizes an Open Science Reading Group which is open to all Stanford affiliates.

Does the new open access policy mean I can only publish in open access journals?

No, Like the NIH Public Access Policy, Stanford's proposed open access policy deals only with self-archiving. You will be free to publish your work in whatever venue you see fit.

How does open access relate to "predatory publishing"?

An unfortunate side effect of the growth of scholarly publishing is that there are some publishers who will accept article processing charges and publish articles checking their quality or legitimacy. This phenomenon is sometimes called "predatory publishing". However, open access publishing should not be conflated with predatory publishing. A journal being open access does not mean that it is not rigorously peer reviewed or illegitimate in some other way. If you have concerns about a specific journal, you can check to see if they are in the Directory of Open Access Journals or schedule a consultation with your liaison librarian.

Will Lane Library help me pay my article processing charge?

Lane Library does not have a fund to pay article processing charges on behalf of Stanford Medicine authors. See the Open Access at Lane Library tab for more information about what publishers currently offer Stanford-affiliated researchers discounts on open access-related fees.

How do I check to see if I can post a preprint or self archive a copy of my article?

Most journals will list author rights related to preprinting and self-archiving in their editorial policies. You can also use the Sherpa Romeo tool for to search for the policies of individual journals. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact your liaison librarian.

How do I find articles that have been self-archived?

Don't worry, there are easy ways to look for articles that have been self-archived. If you hit a paywall, you do not have to search every individual institutional repository to check to see if there is a self-archived copy out there. Often links to the archived versions of articles are available through Google Scholar. We also recommend the Unpaywall browser extension, which will help link you to archived copies of articles while you are searching. Lane Library's DocXpress service is always available to help eligible Stanford affiliates get the full text of the materials they need.

What about my research data and other scholarly outputs?

Excellent question! Your data, code, and other outputs are also important products of the research process. Stanford University does not currently have a data sharing policy, but scholarly publishers and funding agencies have begun to adopt policies related to data management and sharing. You can use the Sherpa Juliet and Sherpa Romeo tools to see what policies may apply to you, but we also strongly recommend reaching out to your liaison librarian.