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Open Access Publishing
According to Peter Suber (2004), the director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, "Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge [to the consumer], and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions". There are two models of OA publishing:
Only OA articles are freely available
Open Access Journals
All articles are freely available
Although free to the consumer, many OA journals charge Article Processing Charges (APCs) to cover editorial costs such as costs associated with peer review, maintaining a website, and preserving articles long-term.
For more information about Open Access and Copyright, please see the library's guide to Copyright and Licensing for Instructors
Most predatory publishers are open-access publishers. Predatory journals charge Article Processing Fees (APCs) to line their pockets. They often will not accept a manuscript without agreement to pay (pay-to-play) and they provide very little, if any, peer review, editorial services, or long-term preservation. Often, the APCs are considerably lower than a reputable journal.