On behalf of PLOS, SPARC, and OASPA I want to thank everyone who contributed during the open review process of the Open Access Spectrum guide. In preparation for Open Access Week (October 22-28), we are issuing the final version today so that people can download and print it for their use next week and beyond. This resource outlines the core components of open access (e.g., reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, etc.) across the continuum from “open access” to “restricted access”. Its aim is to help authors make informed decisions on where to publish based on journal policies. It also provides a resource for funders and other organizations to help establish criteria for the level of Open Access required for their policies and mandates. Ultimately, the conversation must shift from “Is It Open Access?” to “HowOpenIsIt?” The phrase “HowOpenIsIt?” will be used for a family of offerings to foster and promote open access in research communications. The Open Access Spectrum is our first program with more to come. Today’s content also includes an FAQ and a Chinese translation (Spanish translation coming soon).
The public comment period, which lasted two weeks, generated 60 responses from 11 countries. We received input from publishers, librarians, authors, editors, and research funders, among others. Of the 26 entries in the draft table, 18 were edited and improved as a result of this feedback. The most notable change was an additional entry to the “Copyrights” category. The draft version included four definitions along the Open Access Spectrum. The final version added a fifth: Publisher holds copyright, with some allowances for author and reader reuse of published version.
We deeply appreciate all the suggestions that we received. Your feedback provided greater clarity and precision to the final document.