Most often, "open access" refers to journal articles, textbooks, or class content that anyone can access from anywhere. In other words, it isn't kept behind a paywall, anyone can download it for free.
“The largest open access publishers, BioMed Central and PLoS, charge $1,350-2,250 per article in most cases”.1 However, UND is a supporter of BioMed Central, and so UND faculty receive a 15% discount (ask your librarian about this discount).
example: A journal can take an article for which it retains the copyright, and make it open access if they don't charge people for downloading it.
1. Van Noorden, Richard. (March 27 2013). “Open Access: The true cost of science publishing.” Nature. http://www.nature.com/news/open-access-the-true-cost-of-science-publishing-1.12676
2. Berger, Monica. (March 22-25 2017). “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Predatory Publishing but were Afraid to Ask.” ACRL 2017: At the Helm: Leading Transformation. http://bit.ly/2gO47AZ
Look for these red flags when considering whether a journal is deceptive* or worthy of your trust, and contact your librarian if you have any questions!
***NOTE: Some untrustworthy journals are willfully deceptive, while others are simply of lower quality. Further, many legitimate journals may lack the gloss of more established and well-known journals. It is important to be aware of the resource disparities operating within the journal publishing industry, and the significant infrastructural disadvantages at which less monied journals, particularly those in the Global South, operate. Less than stellar English is not always a meaningful indicator, and journals may lack an ISSN, indexing, or impact factor, and still be reputable and legitimate.
1). A suspicious email soliciting papers is a red flag signaling that a journal's main aim is to make a profit, rather than promote academic research. Look out for:
2). Does anything about the Journal or Publisher seem misleading?
>below you see a that the listed location for the journal "Annals of Physiotherapy Clinics" is very suspicious indeed:
3). Does the journal or publisher's website seem unprofessional?
4). Is important information about the journal or publisher unclear?
5). Is the editorial board reputable?
> below you see an image of a suspicious journal's editorial board and an image of a college webite's faculty directory, which refutes the journal's claim that one of their editors works for that college:
5). Are the articles published in previous issues high quality?
6). Is the journal searchable in major databases, such as PubMed and CINAHL? Contact your Librarian for help.
7). Look up the journal's impact metrics. Contact your Librarian for help.