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Open Access Guide: How to Make Your Work OA

How to Make Your Work OA

There are two main ways you can make your work openly available:

Publish in Open Access Journals

The resources below will help you find open access journals in your field. You can also talk to mentors or colleagues, or contact your librarians.

  • Directory of Open Access Journals: Over 10,000 registered open access journals. Searchable by subject, article processing charges, journal license, publisher, country of publisher, full text language, type of peer review, and archiving policy.
  • Quality Open Access Market: “Market place for scientific and scholarly journals which publish articles in open access.” All information is crowdsourced. Sponsored by Radboud University and SURFmarket.

Share Your Work Openly

How you can share your work will depend on a number of factors. The diagram and outline below walk you through the process. The Gordon Library is also available to help you determine how you can easily and effectively share your work openly. Contact us at

flowchart showing copyright decision making

  1. Is your work published?
    1. If no, then you can share freely! See “Sharing Unpublished Work” below.
    2. If yes, proceed to #2.
  2. Does your funder have an open access policy? See "Publicly Funded Research."
    1. If yes, then share in an open access repository according to the terms of the policy.
    2. If no, proceed to #3.
  3. Does the publisher allow you to share your work? See “Understanding Publisher Policies” below.
    1. If yes, then share in an open access repository according to the terms of the policy.
    2. If no, then contact your publisher to make a request. Contact the Gordon Library for assistance.

Find an OA Repository

Besides publishing in open access journals, you can look for other venues where you can share your work openly, such as open access repositories.

A repository is a digital collection of online works, often institution- or subject-based. Repositories offer a number of benefits to authors, including:

  • improving the visibility of works through standardized metadata, full-text search, and indexing in Google Scholar;
  • preserving works long-term; and
  • providing authors with tools to understand how their works are being accessed, such as download statistics.

Digital WPI

Digital WPI is WPI's digital repository, which provides global digital access to knowledge and scholarship created by the WPI community. To submit your work to Digital WPI, email

Subject Repositories

Subject repositories collect works from specific disciplines. You can find lists of OA subject repositories below, searchable by subject area, content type, or repository type.

General Repositories

Sharing Unpublished Work

As long as you have not signed your copyright away–such as in a publishing agreement–you can make your work available in any venue you would like. Note that if your work contains any third-party material, you’ll need to make sure you have the appropriate license or permission to make that work available.

When you make your work available, you should attach a license to it, such as a Creative Commons license; this license tells others how they can reuse your work.

Understanding Publisher Policies for Sharing Your Work

Journals/publishers often post their sharing policies on their websites. You can also check the SHERPA RoMEO database of publisher policies. When you're looking at policies, look for the following conditions:

  • Which versions of your paper can you make openly available?
    • Preprint? (Submitted manuscript)
    • Post-print? (Accepted manuscript, with revisions from peer review)
    • Publisher’s version?
  • Where can you make your paper openly available?
  • Can you make your paper openly available after a certain period of time (embargo)?
    • Most repositories will allow you to add an embargo period when you submit a work and will automatically make your work openly available after that time period.
  • What information is required to be shared with your paper?
    • Link to the version of record on the publisher’s website?
    • Copyright statement?

If you would like assistance finding journal/publisher policies, contact the Gordon Library.