Skip to Main Content

Open Access: Home

Open Access Explained

Open Access Initiatives

Global open access Initiatives that promote free access to scholarly publications over the Internet:

  • Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing supported by a group of national research funding organizations.

What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) is a scholarly publishing model that makes research information immediately available to anyone free of charge. The OA model removes price barriers (subscriptions, licensing fees, pay-per-view fees) and permission barriers (most copyright and licensing restrictions) from access, dissemination and reuse of information (Peter Suber).

Why Open Access?

Scholars are increasingly in favor of open access publishing for various reasons:

  • Wider readership: General public and professionals who do not have access to journals behind a paywall can also acquire the research ideas.
  • Increased research impact: OA articles are cited more often than other articles behind a paywall because of their free and readily accessible nature.
  • Accelerated scientific advancement: OA articles are shared widely and globally on the internet so that their ideas can be immediately built upon by other academicians.
  • Compliance with funder policy: Funders are more often to mandate their funded research projects to be published in OA journals, books or deposited in repositories.


Source: Danny Kingsley and Sarah Brown via Australian Open Access Strategy Group

Types of Open Access

Type Description

A scholarly work is published in an OA journal, OA book, or a hybrid journal. A hybrid journal is a subscription-based journal, but authors are given an option to make the article OA by paying the article processing charge (APC).

The full content is immediately available to the public for free at the publisher website. It is usually assigned with an OA license such as Creative Commons that indicate how others can use the content.

A postprint or preprint version of a scholarly work is made publicly accessible in an institutional, subject-specific repository, or author’s personal website. Publishers often have special policies restricting the version, depository, and the embargo period for self-archiving, e.g. 6-24 months after publishing.

A scholarly work is available to the public at the publisher website at no cost. However, there is no license information assigned to the work, it is unsure about the ways it can be used or whether it will remain openly accessible in the future.

Head, Scholarly Communications Section

Profile Photo
Ella Fu
3943 9985

Need Help?

Make an appointment for the Research Consultation Service (for postgraduate students and CUHK faculty members)
WhatsApp us at 5578 8898; 9am - 5pm (Mon-Fri)
Send an email to
Phone us at 3943 7305