The below bibliography is generally arranged by subject.  It is designed as a starting point for faculty and graduate students interested in developing their knowledge of open access issues and the changes that are occurring in scholarly publishing. 

Journal articles labeled UCSB Only are restricted to the UCSB community.  The open access movement seeks to create an alternative to such barriers to scholarship.  As a result, many scholars have begun self-archiving their work or publishing in open access publications.  Whenever possible, open access versions of articles are linked, whether in institutional or disciplinary repositories, or open access journals.

Open Access: The Basics

Open Access 101 from SPARC (Video). Web 20 July 2012.  SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resource Coalition) is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the SPARC logodissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. SPARC also offers the Open-Access Journal Publishing Resource Index with resources to guide the launch of an open access journal.

Open Access Explained!  Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen take us through the world of open access publishing and explain just what it's all about.  A very engaging animated presentation accessible to all.

Open Access: what is it and why we should have it? One of many useful and practical pages in the Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook (OASIS). "OASIS aims to provide an authoritative ‘sourcebook’ on Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving it. The site highlights developments and initiatives from around the world, with links to diverse additional resources and case studies. As such, it is a community-building as much as a resource-building exercise." The Sourcebook has segments designed for the various stakeholders - researchers, administrators, librarians, publishers, the public, and students.  Also, see their Overview of Open Access Publishing.

Suber, Peter.  Open Access Overview.  An introduction to open access for those who are new to the concept.  A philosopher by training, Suber is a trusted and authoritative leader of the open access movement. 

Suber, Peter.  "Promoting Open Access in the Humanities."  Web 11 July 2012.  Presentation for the panel discussion, "Electronic Publication and the Classics Profession," at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association, 2004.  Includes a concise overview of the differences between the humanities and sciences that help explain why open access is gaining acceptance much faster in the sciences. 

Ten Things You Should Know About Scholarly Communication.” Web. 09 July 2012.  This concise one page handout, created by the Association of College and Research Libraries, touches on various aspects of the changes that occur in the lifecycle of scholarship  –  economic issues, author rights, copyright basics, open access publishing (#6), open access mandates, and more.

Author Rights, Copyright Ownership, and Managing Your Intellectual Property

Boris, Eileen.  New World of Publishing: Intellectual Property, Journals, and the WebPerspectives on History (February 2009).  Changes in scholarly publishing from the perspective of distinguished historians. Boris's introductory remarks, for an American Historical Association conference program, precede presentations by Alice Kesseler-Harris, Author Rights in an Age of Electronic Reproduction, and Michael Les Benedict, The Electronic Communications Revolution and Open Access Scholarship.

Carys J. Craig, and Joseph F. Turcotte, with Rosemary J. Coombe. "What is Feminist About Open Access?: A Relational Approach to Copyright in the Academy."  feminists@law 1.1 (2011). A feminist legal theory critique of copyright law and possessive individualism, and its relationship to the open access movement.

Jaschik, Scott.  “MLA Shift on Copyright.”  Inside Higher Ed.  6 June 2012.  Coverage of the MLA's announcement that they will allow authors to retain the copyright to their own work when publishing in MLA journals.  Emphasis is placed on the benefits of doing so and the scholarly values it represents.

Blogs Worth Following

The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics. Web 11 July 2012. Written by open access advocate Heather Morrison, a librarian and doctoral candidate at Simon Fraser University’s School of Communication

Open and Shut? Web 11 July 2012. The blog of independent journalist Richard Poynder.  Poynder has been covering the open access movement for over a decade.  His interviews and essays are very accessible, informative, and highly respected.

Scholarly Communications @ Duke.  Web 11 July 2012. The heart of Duke’s scholarly communication website is this regularly updated blog, written by Kevin Smith, Duke’s Scholarly Communication Officer.  Smith is both a librarian and attorney, experienced in copyright and technology law.  Other informative parts of the website include a section for faculty authors, copyright in teaching, an FAQ, and a toolkit with form templates and more.

Business Models

Bergstrom, Ted, and C.T. Bergstrom. “Can ‘Author Pays’ Journals Compete with ‘Reader Pays?’.” Nature Web Focus: Access to the Literature.  (2004).  UCSB economics professor Ted Bergstrom discusses the economics of journal publishing, comparing the reader and author pays models.  He concludes that “Author Pays, Open Access publishing is one way of realizing the enormous potential gains that the Internet offers. Whether some form of Open Access emerges as the dominant form of academic publishing is likely to depend on how much scholars care about broad distribution of their writings.”

Bird, Claire.  "Oxford Journals' Adventures in Open Access."  Learned Publishing 21.3 (July 2008): 200-208.  From the abstract: "In 2004, Oxford Journals began experimenting with an 'author-side payment' open access model for its flagship molecular biology journal, Nucleic Acid Research (NAR).  Since then, around 70 of its approximately 200 journals have adopted an open access model of some kind, providing a unique persepctive on the practicalities involved and the potential impact of open access on established academic journals."  No matter what discipline you're in, this article provides a great overview of how the author pays OA publishing model works.  UCSB Only

Lewis, David W.  The  Inevitability of Open AccessCollege and Research Libraries 73.5 (September 2012): 493-506.  A very impressive and encouraging article.  Lewis uses disruptive innovation theory to predict the growth of open access scholarly publishing.  He argues that Gold OA is a disruptive innovation; compares subscription and OA business models; predicts the year when Gold OA will account for over 90% of all scholarly articles; and discusses the impact of more widespread OA publishing on libraries, publishers and scholarly societies.

Wickman, Chris “New Front in ‘Open Access’ Science Publishing Row.” Reuters 12 June 2012. A report on a new start-up OA journal (PeerJ), with a unique business model. PeerJ, founded by a senior scholar from Plos One, “will publish research in the biological and medical sciences using a revenue model based on a one-off payment ranging from $99 to $259 for lifetime membership per researcher, rather than payment per paper or subscription by readers/institutions.”

Withey, Lynne, et al. Sustaining Scholarly Publishing: New Business Models for University Presses: A Report of the AAUP Task Force on Economic Models for Scholarly Publishing. "This report (a) identifies elements of the current scholarly publishing systems that are worth protecting and retaining throughout this and future periods of transition; (b) explores business models of existing projects that hold promise; (c) outlines the characteristics of effective business models; (d) addresses the challenges of the transitional period we are entering; and (e) arrives at recommendations that might allow us to sustain high-quality scholarship at a time when the fundamental expectations of publishing are changing.” Also published in Journal of Scholarly Publishing 42.4 (2011): 397–441.  UCSB Only.

Citation Rates

Howard, Jennifer.  “Scholars Seek better Ways to Track Impact Online.”  Chronicle of Higher Education.  29 January 2012.  Outlines the work of scholars seeking to measure the influence of Web-driven scholarly interactions as a more comprehensive alternative to cited references and journal impact factors.  This approach to measuring impact is called altmetrics.

Smith, Courtney, “It’s Not Just About Citation Counts Anymore.”  Digital Commons Newsletter.  Spring Summer 2010: 1, 3.  Reports on faculty members’ appreciation of the download reports they get regarding their content in the institutional repository.

Terras, Melissa.  “What Happens when You Tweet an Open Access Paper.”  Adventures in Digital Humanities and digital cultural heritage.  Plus some musings on academia. 7 November 2011. A humorous and informative blogpost account of what happens after tweeting about an open access paper in a institutional repository. Terras discusses the impact – 805 downloads/reads(as of 11/11/25) and the danger of acquiring a stats habit.  The take away is “Ergo, if you want people to read your papers, make them open access, and let the community know (via blogs, twitter, etc) where to get them. Not rocket science. But worth spending time doing. Just don’t develop a stats habit.”

Wagner, Ben.  “Open Access Citation Advantage: An Annotated Bibliography.”  2010. A bibliography of studies and review articles that examine whether open access (OA) articles receive more citations than equivalent subscription or toll access (TA) articles. The bibliography is divided into three sections: review articles, studies showing an open access citation advantage (OACA), and studies showing no OACA or attributing OACA to factors unrelated to OA.

Crisis in Scholarly Publishing

Alonso, Carlos J., et al.  "Crises and Opportunities: The Futures of Scholarly Publishing."  ACLS Occasional Paper, no. 57 (2003).  This was a panel session at the ACLS Annual Meeting, May, 2003.  Though now seven years old, it is still worthwhile background reading.  In separate segments, the four panelists discuss the causes and offer many possible approaches and responses to the "crisis" of scholarly publishing by university presses, which particularly affects the humanities. 

Caldwell, Tracey. " OA in the Humanities Badlands." Information World Review no. 247 (June 2008): 14-16. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed June 11, 2012).  UCSB Only. A discussion of the barriers to open access in the social sciences and humanities, and the initiatives which are breaking down those barriers.

Howard, Jennifer.  "Humanities Journals Confront Identity Crisis."  Chronicle of Higher Education.  55.29 (3 March 2009): A1, A10. Journal editors appreciate that individual articles reach a wider audience, but lament the invisibility of the journal as a whole, fewer submissions from senior scholars, and the trend toward edited collections rather than journals for article length work.

---. “New Open-Access Humanities Press Makes Its Debut.” Chronicle of Higher Education 7 May 2008. Howard reports on the debut of the Open Humanities Press publishing cooperative.

Owens, Simon.  Is the Academic Publishing Industry on the Verge of Disruption? As Harvard balks at subscription costs and others take a page from its book, open access publishers get a fresh look. U.S. News, 23 July 201.  Recently, numerous articles on open access publishing's impact on academic publishing has appeared in the mainstream media, including the NYT and Economist.  However, this U.S. News article is one of the best.  It's lengthy, but its scope and coverage is impressive.  Owens presents opposing viewpoints from researchers, publishers, and librarians on critical issues, such as journal pricing, peer review, article publication fees, journal prestige and impact, and government and university OA policies.  Definitely worth the read, and very accessible.

Poynder, Richard. “Open and Shut?: Interview with BioOne’s Mark Kurtz.” Open and Shut? 27 Sept. 2011. The background information that precedes the interview is a concise overview of the evolution of scholarly journal publishing from a society controlled endeavor to the current situation, where a few select commercial publishers control the market.

Talbott, Jack.  "Article Discplines and Book Disciplines."  Academic Personnel News. Spring 2011: 1. UCSB Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel discusses the publishing requirements for promotion and tenure in the humanities and social sciences.

McPherson, Tara. “Scaling Vectors: Thoughts on the Future of Scholarly Communication.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing 13.2 (2010): Web. 3 Feb. 2011. From the abstract: “This essay proposes that bold new forms of experimentation and bookishness are necessary if we are to advance (and perhaps save) scholarly publishing in the humanities. Possible issues facing presses are considered through consideration of two examples in scholarly publishing that involve the author. The first example, the experimental journal Vectors, highlights the advantages and limits of certain types of multimodal scholarly communication for the humanities. The second example, the new Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, points toward new methods of workflow and publishing that link archives, scholars, and presses. The essay ends with a list of key questions that presses will need to address as various stakeholders collectively expand what we understand humanities publishing to be.”

Journal Economics

Ted C. Bergstrom and Carl T. Bergstrom. "The economics of ecology journals" Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 4.9 (2007): 488-495.
Available at:  

--. “The Costs and Benefits of Library Site Licenses to Academic Journals.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101.3 (2004): 897-902.  Available at From the abstract "Scientific publishing is rapidly shifting from a paper-based system to one of predominantly electronic distribution, in which universities purchase site licenses for online access to journal contents. Will these changes necessarily benefit the scientific community? 

Bergstrom, Theodore C. “Free Labor Costly Journals?Journal of Economic Perspectives (2001): 183-198. Availalbe at UCSB economics professor Ted Begstrom argues that “commercial publishers are charging excessive prices for academic journals and suggests ways that economists can deal with the problem."  For other Bergstrom journal economics articles, see his archive Economics of Publications.

Journal Cost-Effectiveness 2011.  Maintained by Ted Bergstorm (UCSB Economics) and Preston McAfee (California Institute of Technology), this website reports on the cost effectivess of almost 10,000 academic journals.  For more information on journal pricing, see Ted Bergstrom's Journal Pricing Page.

Poynder, Richard.  “Open and Shut?: The Demise of the Big Deal?” Web. 7 Apr. 2011.

Waltham, Mary.  The Future of Scholarly Journals Publishing Among Social Science and Humanities Associations: Report on a Study Funded by a Planning Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  February 18, 2009.  A study that grew from recommendations by the National Humanities Alliance Task Force on Open Access and Scholarly Communications.  The study investigates whether OA options in STM are viable for HSS.  Emphasis is on the costs and revenues of scholarly publishing (print and electronic) for the associations. Also  published in Journal of Scholarly Publishing 41.3 (April 2010): 257-324. UCSB Only

Monographs, Open Access

Bazerman, Charles et al.  "Open Access Book Publishing in Writing Studies: A Case Study."  First Monday 13.1 (7 January 2008).  An account of the decisions and experiences of a group of senior composition and rhetoric scholars who conceived of and published an open access book on activity theory and writing, which led to the publishing of a book series in the area of rhetoric and composition.

Bonn, Maria.  "Free Exchange of Ideas: Experimenting with the Open Access Monograph."  College and Research Libraries News 71.8 (September 2008): 436-439.  An overview of various experiments in open access monograph publishing, including projects at the University of Michigan, and University of California's now defunct Flashpoints series.

Snijder, Ronald.  "The Profits of Free Books: an Experiment to Measure the Impact of Open Access Publishing."  Learned Publishing 23.4 (October 2010): 293-301. The experiment described in this article utilized Amsterdam University Press books, and was designed to answer various questions, including whether open access publishing of academic books led to a higher discovery rate and more usage?  UCSB Only

Willinsky, John.  "Toward the Design of an Open Monograph Press."  Journal of Electronic Publishing 12.1 (February 2009). This paper reviews and addresses the critical issues confronting monograph publishing and proposes an alternative approach based on a modular design for an online system that would foster, manage and publish in digital and print forms.  UCSB Only

Scholarly Societies and University Presses

American Historical Association Research Division. AHA Statement on Scholarly Journal Publishing.  24 September 2012.  More professional associations need to take a position on this important issue, even if they're not necessarily supportive of the changes that are occurring in scholarly publishing.  It's unfortunate that the AHA frames open access publishing as strictly a journal economics and science issue, and disregards open research as a means to disseminate historical research to a larger audience.  A detailed response and opposing viewpoint is at Etc

Bonn, Maria.  "Free Exchange of Ideas: Experimenting With the Open Access Monograph.College and Research Libraries News 71.8 (September 2010): 436-439. Features current initiatives, mostly by university presses, to find an economically sustainable way to publish open access monographs.

Howard, Jennifer.  “An Open Letter to Academic Publishers About Open Access.”  Chronicle of Higher Education, 1 April 2101. A satirical letter bringing attention to the status of the open access movement and the role of university presses, written from the perspective of a profit-motivated commercial publisher.

Jaschik, Scott.  “MLA Shift on Copyright.”  Inside Higher Ed.  6 June 2012.  Coverage of the MLA's announcement that it will allow authors to retain the copyright to their work when publishing in MLA journals.  Emphasis is placed on the benefits of doing so and the scholarly values it represents.

Kelty, Christopher M., et al.  "Anthropology of/In Circulation: The Future of Open Access and Scholarly Societies."  Cultural Anthropology 23.3 (2008): 559-588.  A conversation between seven anthropologists about the role of scholarly societies in the production, circulation and promotion of scholarship.  UCSB only version at

Rosenzweig, Roy.  "Should Historical Scholarship Be Free?" Perspectives 43.4 (April 2005). An American Historical Association Vice President considers the impact of open access publishing on society journals.

Waltham, Mary.  The Future of Scholarly Journals Publishing Among Social Science and Humanities Associations: Report on a Study Funded by a Planning Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  February 18, 2009.  A study that grew from recommendations into journal economics by the National Humanities Alliance Task Force on Open Access and Scholarly Communications.  The study investigates whether OA options in STM are viable for HSS.  Emphasis is on the costs and revenues of scholarly publishing (print and electronic) for the associations. Also  published in Journal of Scholarly Publishing 41.3 (April 2010): 257-324. UCSB Only 

Waterston,Alisse and Edward B. Liebow.  The State of AAAs Publishing Program. Anthropology News. 9 July 2012. The American Anthropological Association describes their substantial and lucrative publishing program, the values behind it, and announces that they are considering coverting to a fully open access model.

John Willinsky. Scholarly Associations and the Economic Viability of Open Access Publishing Journal of Digital Information 4.2 (2003). Available at:  From the abstract: “The paper considers a number of economic issues that scholarly associations are confronting in moving their journals online, with a focus on the possible viability of an open access or free-to-read format...While the decision to publish journals in an open access format is by no means simply an economic one, the viability of open access publishing warrants serious consideration by scholarly associations that are currently determining what this new medium may mean for the circulation of knowledge.”