Updated HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum Guide

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SPARC is pleased to join with PLOS and OASPA in releasing an update to the popular HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum (OAS) guide. The guide, initially released in late 2012, is used by authors, libraries, research funders, and policy makers, among others, to map publisher policies against a grid of Open Access considerations, including – reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, automatic posting, and machine readability. The HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum guide lays out, in descriptive fashion, the array of polices a journal can have in the continuum between “Open” and “Closed”.

In the nearly two years since this resource was developed, SPARC, PLOS, and OASPA have solicited feedback from the scholarly communication and publishing communities. In addition, we have tested the HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum guide against more than 100 distinct journal policies, as publically displayed on publisher websites. Based on the results of these conversations and activities, we have modified a number of elements to better reflect some nuances not captured in the initial version. 

SPARC is eager for scholars, publishers, funding agencies, and other stakeholders to use the HowOpenIsIt? Open Access Spectrum guide as a practical tool to inform authoring choices, policy development, and compliance checking, among other activities.