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What is Open Access?

Open Access to scholarly research, particularly peer-reviewed journal articles, has been discussed since the early 2000s. The 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative created one of the first definitions of the term; other groups followed with similar statements. Since 2005, articles supported by NIH funds must be publicly available within a year of publication and PubMed Central is the repository for these NIH-funded articles. Faculty in educational institutions started passing Open Access policies about their own work at approximately the same time. Harvard, MIT, and Duke are some of the better-known Open Access policy adopters. The OSTP memo in 2013 directed federal funding agencies with more than $100 million in their R&D budgets to follow NIH’s example. In 2022 the OSTP memo was updated to mandate that all federally funded research needs to be publicly available without an embargo period by the end of 2025.

Other movements inside and outside academe support this decision to share our research freely with the world. Open data, open science, information inequality, and even fake news, make it highly desirable that researchers and scholars make their work easily available to colleagues in other parts of the globe, in institutions with less funding for subscriptions, and to informed citizens.

JHU’s mission “Knowledge for the World” directly aligns with the goals of Open Access. To this end, JHU policy states that JHU faculty will make their peer-reviewed journal articles Open Access. This policy applies to articles accepted for publication on or after July 1, 2018, and for articles where the sole or corresponding author is a JHU full-time faculty.

Read the Open Access Policy

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