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Faculty Resource Guide

This libguide provides information on a wide range of issues of relevance to faculty including how to link to library resources, what you can and cannot put into Moodle, Open Content Sites, and Information about new Scholarly Communication Hubs.

What is Open Access?

Open access is a movement to ensure that research published by academics is made freely available to viewers by having a publication hosted either in an Open Access Journal or in an Institutional Repository. 

Scholarly Open Access Journals follow the traditional publishing submission model of using double blind peer review - but they differ in  that they ensure that articles will be open to viewing by everyone.  Open Access Journals are known as the Gold Standard of Open Access Publishing and many are in very High Impact Journals revereed by scholars.

Institutional Repositories are sites set up for Scholars to submit digital publications to.  These publications can be anything from accepted journal articles to Course Material, Graduate Thesis, Research Data, Learning Objects, Peer Reviewed Conference Proceeding or Grey Literature.  All submissions to Institutional Repositories are made Openly Available for anyone to read and use - as per the Creative Commons License chosen by contributors to a repository, although there may be slight delay in their viewing if required as a condition of publishing.   Repository submissions are know as the Green Standard of Open Access Publishing.

Benefits of Open Access


One reason Open Access began was in reaction to increasing costs for Science,Technology and Medical (STM) Journals which were increasing at the rate of 10% per year.  STM publishers had captured the market and were insisting that researchers surrender copyright in return for being published. With control of copyright, they had every incentive to raise prices as they realized the profit.  Open access strives to provide good publishing without institutions having to buy back their work at inflationary prices. 

Impact Factors

Contrary to initial claims that Open Access Publications would never be percieved as prestigious, Impact Factors are proving otherwise. There has been a great deal of research using citation analysis and it is demonstrating that articles in Open Access Publications are cited more frequently; thereby enabling scholars to demonstrate that their research is having a greater impact than those in traditional publications.

No Messy Restrictions Related to the Usage of a Publication

Everyone following the Access copyright debate knows that surrendering copyright leads to restrictions in the usage of content that goes beyond not being able to read it.  There are also:

  • Restrictions related to making multiple copies for Course Packs 
  • The need to ensure that any Inter-Library Loans are strictly for Research Purposes
Institutions of Higher Education do not have to deal with these issues if they are using Open Content that allows Reading and Sharing (i.e. enables you to make multiple copies for the purpose of a course), or content that resides openly on the Internet (i.e. not behind firewalls).  Consequently, Open Content is useful for Educational Purposes as well as Research Purposes.
Assists with Knowledge Liberation 

Whether you are talking about ensuring taxpayers do not have to pay twice for the research they fund - or are interested in assisting researchers in Developing Countries and the Third World -  Knowledge Liberation ensures that people can access and understand work occuring in Institutions of Higher Education. This:

  • Raises respect for Institutions of Higher Education among citizens of a country, province or city.
  • Help to spread knowlege in countries that could not afford to purchase commercial journals.
  • Assists with the growth of knowledge as any scholar can access information and contribute knowledge.  This in turn enables researchers to collaboratively come to understand difficult issues (like Climate Change) - or quickly come up with a solution to an immediate problem (e.g. a vaccine for COVID.)

Myths About Open Access

Open Access Publications are not as Scholarly as Traditional Journals

This is incorrect. In fact, the Directory of Open Access Journals lists almost 16,000 Digital Open Access Journals who utlilize the Peer Review Model in a new medium: the Digital Open Access Journal.

That Researchers who Contribute to Open Access Journals are Less Likely to Recieve Recognition for their Work than Scholars who Publish in Traditional Publications

This is also incorrect.  In fact, Impact Factors indicate that scholars who publish articles in Open Access Publications are cited more often (i.e. have a Higher Impact Factors) than those in traditional publications that are commercial. Part of this may be that the traditional publishers have priced themselves out of the market but equally important is the fact that scholarship was not sacrificed as Peer Review remained in place in the open digital publications.

Publishers will Never Allow Academics to Archive their Submissions in Institutional Repositories

This is a falacy.  With requirements that publicly funded research be made openly available, most publishers have policies and procedures around open access.  Consult Sherpa Romeo to learn all about the OA policies of most publishers.

Beyond this, organizations such as SPARC and CARL have created Publishing Addendums that scholars can add to thier contracts with publishers (See Retaining Copyright with Publisher Addendums section in the Open Access and Your Research Section of this Libguide). These addendums add a clause to publishing contracts guaranteeing scholars the right to self-archive their publications in institutional repositories.

Faculty will Resist Having Their Content Made Freely Available

This was a falacy that many tried to put over on the publishing world early in the Open Access Movement. Time and again it has been demonstrated to be wrong as researchers are more interested in whether their publication is in a high impact journal and recieving recognition, as true renumeration comes in the form of increased salary if ones work leads to promotion.

How to Support Open Access

1. Contribute a copy of your research to the Institutional Repository at Brandon University (IRBU).

2.  Publish your research in Open Access Journals or via Publishers - like Sage - with whom the University has a Read and Publish Agreement that waives Article Processing Charges that allow researchers to publish their article as an Open Access Article.  

3.  Support the Adoption of Open Access Policies and Mandates at Brandon University.  Many universities have enacted policies that require scholars to deposit  journal articles to their institutional repositories.  These policies can be adopted at the departmental, faculty or institutional levels. Examples of such policies can be found via:

4.  Participate in Open Access Publications as an Editor, Peer Reviewer, Book Editor, etc.

5.   Work to ensure that our institution gives due recognition to those who participate in Open Access Publications - particularly as it applies to Promotion and Tenure.

6.  Learn about Creative Commons Licenses and use them for works that you wish to place in the Public Domain.

7.  Support Plan S by advocating  for a Canadian mechanism that ensures researchers can easily publish Open Access regardless of Publication. 
8.  Be aware of  projects like SCOAP 3 (also see this video) and the Open Library of the Humanities, who are addressing Article Publishing Fees  in unique and affordable ways. 

9.  Support Off-Set Agreements to ensure publishers are not double dipping.

Open Access Projects at Brandon University

Journal of Rural and Community Development

Established by members of the Rural Development Institute at Brandon University, it is currently overseen by Doug Ramses (Journal Editor) of RDI.

Institutional Repository at Brandon University (IRBU)

IRBU houses a collection of institutional publications, journal articles, thesis, etc.

Canadian Journal of Native Studies

While not totally Open Access, CJNS provides people with free access to back issues of its publications.

Fabian Society Collection

Digital collection of the entire Fabian Tracts made available by the S. J. McKee Archives at Brandon University. 

BU Journal of Graduate Studies in Education

Open Access journal provided by education graduate students.

S.J. McKee Archives

Collection of historical images for the City of Brandon and Brandon University and growing number of digitized collections.


Digited Collection of Historical Newspapers in Manitoba including for the Brandon Sun. This initiative is funded by the Manitoba Library Consortium Inc, of which the John E. Robbins Library is an active member.

ANimated Tutorial Sharing Project and LION TV

Historical Collection of Instructional Videos created by Librarians across North America and coordinated by one member of the John E. Robbins Library at Brandon University.