Open Access publishing still has costs, but they are not paid by those needing access to research. Moreover, OA models that don’t support for-profit businesses generally cost less overall.
Various approaches to achieving open access, by authors and by publishers, are summarized here.

Author-based models

To make their work Open Access, authors can self-archive: post a copy of their article on their own website or in an institutional or subject repository. How?

  • Many journal policies allow this, possibly with limitations on which version, how long to wait after publication, etc. Find out a journal’s policy in the SHERPA/RoMEO database or use the UMN open access policy to maintain your right to self-archive.
  • Negotiate with the publisher to retain some rights to the article, such as with an author’s addendum; the author and publisher can share the rights in various ways.
  • Use self-archiving rights to deposit copies of publications in the U’s OA repository- the University Digital Conservancy.

Publication-based models

  • Delayed Open Access: Offering free access after a specified period after a specified period, usually 6 months to 2 years, during which the publisher receives subscription revenue.
  • Short-term Open Access: Providing free access for a short period after publication, after which they are only available to subscribers.
  • Selected Open Access: Selected articles are freely available, while the rest require a subscription to access.
  • Hybrid Open Access: The author can pay an Article Processing Charge to make their article OA immediately on publication. If they choose not to pay the APC, access to the article requires a subscription.
  • Partial Open Access:  The journal's primary research articles are freely available, but access to other value-added content such as editorials and review articles requires a subscription.
  • Full Open Access: All the articles in the journal are immediately accessible on the Internet. Some OA journals cover publication costs with Article Processing Charges paid by the author, the author's research grant, or the author's institution. They may offer institutional memberships, where APCs are either reduced or waived.
    • Example: BioMed Central
    • University of Minnesota is an institutional member of both BioMed Central, which gives faculty and staff a 15% discount on BMC journal APCs.

Costs for Authors?

Some OA journals cover publication costs with Article Processing Charges paid by the author, the author's research grant, or the author's institution. They may offer institutional memberships, where APCs are either reduced or waived.
The University Libraries focuses its OA investments on efforts to create systemic change, rather than providing subsidies for APCs. Other ways an author can make their work open access are discussed on this page.

Questions or comments about open access issues at the University of Minnesota, and in general, can be directed to openaccess@umn.edu.