Many journals claim to be ‘open’ while actually placing moderate or severe restrictions on what an author or reader can do with an article, for example. It has become clear that not all ‘open’ is created equal. The Open Access Spectrum (OAS) Evaluation Tool provides UM researchers with independent, expert analysis of journal OA policies beyond just ‘is this article free to read?’

While the rapid growth of Open Access (OA) has seen an expansion in the availability of scholarly articles, it has also generated confusion within the research community. The OAS Evaluation Tool quantitatively scores journals’ degrees of openness. This independent measure offers a concrete, quantifiable mechanism to analyse publications’ policies. The OAS evaluation tool aims to provide you with unprecedented insight and transparency into scholarly journals’ degree of openness.

How open is it? 

The OAS Evaluation Tool uses the HowOpenIsIt? Guide as the basis for a 100-point scale. Journal policies are mapped against the scale to generate a certified score that is straightforward, easy to understand, open, free, and:

  • includes distinct evaluations for policies regarding reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, automatic posting, and machine readability
  • can be used to help determine compliance with funder policies, institutional mandates, and researchers’ individual values
  • pulls together – in one single, accurate web resource – information that is otherwise buried across scores of publisher website.

More information to be found in the (OAS) evaluation tool FAQs.


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