About Open Access

OA Policy at UWC

After signing the Berlin Declaration to Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2013, UWC has formulated, discussed and has approved an institutional OA policy on 24 October 2014.

Important companion documents to the policy are the following:
UWC Legal Addendum to Publisher Agreements
Quick Submission Guide (UWC Research Repository)

OA Journals

Accredited Open Access journals

Please browse these accredited Open Access journals in your discipline when considering where to submit your next research article:


Open Access Journals

Open Access (OA) journals are scholarly journals that have gone through a peer review process and are available online to the reader at no cost, with unrestricted access. Reuse of results of research is also permitted, thereby accelerating the scientific process. Article processing charges are paid for once by an academic institution, a learned society or a funder, so that payment is not required again for the article. Authors are able to retain copyright when publishing in OA journals. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has a complete list of OA journals. Currently there are more than 9,700 journals, with 1,609,815 articles available, of which 5,623 are searchable at article level.

OA publishing

Open access publishers expand the access of peer-reviewed research of OA journals. Some well-known international OA publishers are BioMed Central, Public Library of Science, Hindawi and Medknow Publications.

South Africa has an open access, online, searchable, full text journal database, called Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) SA, which has a collection of peer-reviewed South African scholarly journals. It is managed by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), funded by the Department of Science and Technology and endorsed by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

UWC has five peer-reviewed open access journals. Two of these journals are accredited by the DHET; namely Law, Democracy & Development (publishing since 1997) and Kronos (publishing since 1979). The three peer reviewed journals are the Journal of Community Health Sciences, Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) and Journal of Student Affairs in Africa (JSAA). None of the journals charge article processing fees.

To find out more about OA publishing, read the guide, Open Access and Scholarly Publishing. This guide mentions the criteria that OA publishers have to fulfil to become a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, which promotes best practices for maintaining and disseminating OA scholarly works. Authors are also able to evaluate OA publishers by checking if the publisher is on Jeffrey Beall’s list of suspect or predatory publishers.

OA business models

Open access publishing has three different business models, namely gold OA, hybrid OA and delayed OA.

Open access journals are gold OA and publishing costs are supported by revenue other than subscriptions.

Hybrid OA occurs when publishers offer authors the choice to pay for an article to be made openly accessible, within a subscription-based journal. These publishers receive both subscription fees and OA fees, which is often referred to as 'double-dipping'. A list of publishers with paid OA options is available on the Sherpa/Romeo website.

Delayed OA takes place when an article is made available to subscribers for a period of time (often between 6 to 12 months) and thereafter, the article is freely available. This model assumes that the cost of the publication is made up by the initial subscription revenue.

Payment of OA journals

The University’s research and development office will pay for the article processing charges if the journal title is part of the DHET accredited journal list. If the OA journal is not on the accredited list, the author or the funder can be liable to make the payment. However, there are many open-access journals that do not levy article processing fees. According to a 2013 study conducted, only 28 percent of all 9000 DOAJ journals charged authors to publish in their journals.




What is open access?

Open access is peer-reviewed research that is freely available on the internet to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of articles as long as the author and original publishing source are properly acknowledged through citation. More about open access, click here

What are the benefits of open access?

Open access research is disseminated faster and more efficiently; there is greater online visibility for work to be easily discovered by Google and other search engines. As the research is electronically available, it can be better monitored, assessed and evaluated. When research findings are freely available this increases the possibility of collaboration for interdisciplinary research. The availability of full text and other supplementary data opens the way for text and data mining, which facilitates processing of large amounts of information.

What is the “Author final version” or “Post-print”?

You may be surprised to learn that many publishers allow a copy of the author final version or even the published version to be deposited in open access repositories such as the UWC Research Repository. The Sherpa/Romeo website is a directory to the copyright policies of most publishers. Search by journal title to discover a summary of permissions allowed by the publisher. The Repository manager checks to ensure that the Repository complies with the publisher policy. No copyright will be contravened.

If articles are easily available, won’t plagiarism be made easier?

As open access publications are highly accessible, some authors fear that their work will probably be plagiarised when it is shared online. In fact, this high level of visibility makes it more likely that plagiarism would be detected and exposed, than if the research were to be restricted by a toll barrier. More and more UWC lecturers are using the detection software, Turnitin, to assist in spotting plagiarism. There is also free anti-plagiarism software, called Open-Access Plagiarism Search to detect and prevent plagiarism in education and research.

What is UWC’s policy on open access?

UWC signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access toward Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities on 23 October 2013, signifying its commitment to supporting open access. A draft open access policy has been circulated to the faculties for discussion. The draft policy states that academics may continue to publish in the journals of their preference, but that a copy of their publically funded research should also be deposited into the UWC Research Repository as soon as the paper is accepted for publication. To assist authors in retaining rights for this purpose, the draft policy includes a legal addendum that proposes an amendment of the provisions of a publisher’s copyright contract. The addendum is a means to secure the author’s right to use the article for teaching and research, to make use of the content for subsequent work and to deposit a copy of the author final version of the article into the Research Repository, with the possibility of an embargo up to 12 months. Publishers are free to accept or reject this addendum. Please contact your faculty officer for a copy of the draft open policy.

How can I make my research open access?

You can deposit previously published scholarly work into the UWC Research Repository for secure storage, preservation and increased visibility. You will be able to track the download statistics on all your research. Contact the Research Repository manager to give you a demonstration. This is commonly referred to as “Green Open Access”.

Another method is to consider publishing your current research in an open access journal. This is known as the “Gold Open Access” route. Open access journals are peer reviewed but do not charge readers to access the content. Business models for open access journals vary, with a growing market amongst publishers to charge Article Processing Charges from the publishing author or his/her institution. However, more than half of the nearly 10000 open access journals do not levy authoring fees.
{slider Is there funding available to publish in open access journals?}
The UWC Research Office will pay for the article processing charges when a publication is accepted in an accredited open access journal. This means that the journal has to part of the annual list approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Where do I find a list of open access journals?

A database of open access journals is available in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Currently there are nearly 10000 journals listed. All the journals are searchable at article level. If you want to be awarded the DHET subsidy, crosscheck the open access journal with the most recent accredited journal list.


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