Publishing Open Access

This guide is meant to help Trent researchers with Open Access publishing options

APC Discounts

Article Processing Charges (APCs) are fees charged to authors by some open access journals to cover the costs of editing and publishing.

Trent University Library & Archives invests in open access licences negotiated by the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), which alllow Trent researchers to publish open access journal articles for a reduced fee, or in some cases for free.

Publisher Discount Summary
American Chemical Society (ACS) $250 USD on hybrid journals
Cambridge University Press 100% discount on hybrid and gold journals
Canadian Science Publishers

100% discount on 5 specific journals titles

25% discount on hybrid journals

Elsevier Science Direct

100% on hybrid journals

20% discount on most gold journals

Oxford University Press

100% on hybrid journals

10% on most gold journals


100% discount on hybrid journals

40% discount on most gold journals

Taylor & Francis 25% discount on hybrid journals
Wiley 100% discount on hybrid journals

About Open Access

What is it?

"Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment." Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), 2022. 

Open Access (OA)...

  • is digital & widely available online;
  • is free of price barrier (Gratis OA), free of charge to access;
  • is free of most/many copyright restrictions & licensing requirements (Libre OA);
  • respects rights of author & requires attribution of work to author (outlined in Creative Commons Attribution Online License CC-BY); and
  • may include right to reuse content.

Methods of OA Publishing

OA journals
  • Alternative to traditional subscription-based journals
  • Provide free access to peer-reviewed articles
  • DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals Index of open access journals from around the world
  • Sherpa-Romeo Aggregates publisher open access & copyright policies, provides summaries on journal-by-journal basis
OA repositories
  • Collect, preserve & provide free access to research outputs
  • May be institution-based (e.g., Trent Digital Collections)

OA Models

Gold (Full Gold or Hybrid Gold)
  • Either immediate open access to all a journal's articles or some articles made OA and others behind paywall
  • May charge APC
  • Author(s) self-archives article online, often through institutional repository
  • Investigate preprint/post-print publishing permissions for journals
  • Articles are OA but no license/formal OA agreement with publisher
  • Articles can't be redistributed, reused, mined without explicit permission
  • Publisher can choose to remove open access to article at their discretion

Open Access Benefits

  • Good Information Supply
  • Fair and transparent use of taxpayer's money
  • Free and fast access
  • New methods, new knowledge
  • High visibility
  • Compliance with research funders' and institutions' policies
  • Collaboration and networking
  • Authors free to license their works as they see fit
  • Good findability and long term access
  • Efficient research and innovation



  • Article Fees
    • Sometimes expensive 
    • Inequalities between subjects and individual academics (e.g., well funded tenured researcher vs early career researcher)
  • Funds to publishing vs research
  • Conflict of Interest
    • Financial incentive for OA journals to publish more articles
  • Double dipping in hybrid journals
    • Publisher benefits twice – article fees and library subscriptions
  • Small / not-for-profit / society publishers at risk of being left behind
    • Pay-to-publish model favours large publishers with high volume of articles
  • Quality
    • Pre-prints lack peer review
    • Born OA journals take time to establish impact  .
  • Sometimes extra work for authors
    • e.g., entering metadata for repositories 
  • Number of OA journals varies greatly across disciplines.


Predatory Publishers...

  • Accept publication fees from authors with promise of quick turn-around and without meeting publishing standards and performing advertised services:
    • Peer review
    • Quality control
    • Indexing
    • Archiving
  • Fake editorial boards
  • Fake impact factors
  • Rebrand their journals
  • Bootleg articles
  • Hijack journals


How To Avoid Predatory Publishers

  • Look for clues on the website
    • Dead links
    • Poor English grammar
    • Non-transparent editing and peer review practices
    • Editorial board members - Spot check contact information
    • Lack of publisher information
  • Lack of listings in organizations such as the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) or the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
  • Lack of representation in indexes (e.g., Web of Science, Medline, PsycINFO)
  • Consult check lists, for example:
  • Ask a librarian -

Tri-Council Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

  • Applies to all recipients of grants from CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC
  • Provide broadly accessible, free public access to articles from funded research through OA journal and/or digital repository
  • Must be OA within 12 months of initial publication
  • For more information please see the policy document here.

Open Science

"Open science is the practice of making scientific inputs, outputs and processes freely available to all with minimal restrictions. Scientific research outputs include (i) peer- reviewed science articles and publications, (ii) scientific and research data and (iii) public contribution to and dialogue about science. Open Science is enabled by people, technology and infrastructure. It is practiced in full respect of privacy, security, ethical considerations and appropriate intellectual property protection."

OA Publishing Trends

Paquet, V., van Bellen, S. & Larivière, V. (2022). Measuring the prevalence of open access in Canada: A national comparison. The Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 45(1), 1-21.

Line graph of proportion of papers available in OA for the three federal granting agencies.

Bar chart showing the proportion of OA articles by province between 2015 and 2019


Bar chart show the proportion of OA articles by major Canadian Funders between 2015 and 2019

Institutional Repositories

  • Digital Collections (Trent University Library & Archives): 
    • Note: v1 currently under content freeze; v2 launching late 2022/early 2023
    • Suitable for a variety of different outputs
  • Borealis (formerly Scholars Portal Dataverse): https:
    • Research data repository
    • Best suited to datasets
  • Library as Publisher: OJS (Open Journal Systems) Pilot Project (Trent University Library & Archives)
  • List of Canadian institutional repositories (Canadian Association of Research Libraries)

Disciplinary Repositories

For example: 

For more examples see this list of disciplinary repositories maintained by the Open Access Directory. 

OA Monograph Publishers

'Academic' social networks & DIY Solutions

    • For profit!
    • May not be permissible based on your license agreement ("Non-Commercial")
  • Author website
    • Likely permissible, but does it meet your needs?
  • (
    • Fully DIY

Evaluating OA Options

  • Know your license agreement!
    • Sherpa/Romeo 
      • Aggregates and analyses publisher open access policies from around the world and provides summaries of publisher copyright and open access archiving policies on a journal-by-journal basis.
      • Different pathways & Conditions based on version being shared
  • Are they institutionally supported?
    • Who pays / Are you the product?
  • Where are they indexed/listed? 
  • Look for signs of predatory publishing.
  • Trust your expertise


Webinar: Open Access: Why You Should Care, Trent University Library and Archives (TULA), November 16, 2022.