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Open Access

Georgetown University Library provides many services to support the publication and dissemination of open access materials created by Georgetown scholars.

Open Access Explained

In a nutshell, “Open Access” enables researchers the world over to freely access and distribute the results of scholarly research via the Internet.

Under traditional publishing models, the publisher owns the distribution rights to articles in their journals, and charges readers for access to that content. They can do so either by collecting subscription fees directly (many of which cost an institution thousands of dollars per year), or by bundling their content as part of a database subscription (which cost even more). This makes sense in a print-only world, where each subscriber to a journal represents the publisher’s increased costs for distribution and production. However, when one considers the ease, speed and low cost of publishing research online, the old publishing model hinders modern scholarship. Institutions or researchers that are unable to pay don't gain access, which limits the ability of underfunded researchers around the world to participate in scholarly discourse.

Open Access and GU Scholarship

As more and more universities, funding agencies, and publishers adopt open access policies, it is essential for researchers and authors to comprehend and successfully navigate these changes to the scholarly landscape. Fortunately, Georgetown researchers have a number of resources available to them to leverage and produce open access content.


DigitalGeorgetown is home to Georgetown University Library's online institutional repository. Thousands of faculty publications, reports, theses, dissertations and other scholarly works by the Georgetown community are available online through DigitalGeorgetown, and researchers all over the planet have used the repository to support their scholarship. With thousands of visitors each month and a dedicated library team offering support and development, it's one of the easiest platforms for Georgetown researchers to use to release content as Open Access.

Faculty and departments interested in submitting their works for inclusion in the library should contact the DigitalGeorgetown team via email.

Scholarly Communication and Copyright Resources

Researchers are encouraged to visit the Library's Copyright at Georgetown University page, and take advantage of the resources available there, such as using an author's addendum when signing publisher agreements, choosing publishers with expansive copyright policies or releasing your work under Creative Commons licensing.

Open Access Week - October

Georgetown University Library, in partnership with the Law Library, Bioethics Research Library and GU Press, participates in Open Access Week each year, a worldwide event to raise awareness of the benefits of open access throughout the research community.

You can see information on past Open Access Week events here. Details for Open Access Week this year will be posted in the fall.

Open Access Week Partners

GU Library

The Georgetown University Library is an agile organization that respects the heritage of the past while anticipating the requirements of the 21st century. By providing preeminent services, collections and spaces, the Library shapes the creation of knowledge, conserves culture for posterity, and transforms learning and research.

Bioethics Research Library

The Bioethics Research Library at Georgetown University began as a few shelves of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics’ scholars’ books. As the interdisciplinary field of bioethics grew, so did the library. It now includes more than 30,000 books, journals, audiovisuals, and archival materials on a wide range of topics, materials written in over 20 languages, and a diverse range of opinions expressed on bioethical issues around the world.

Georgetown University Law Library

The mission of the Georgetown University Law Library is to support fully the research and educational endeavors of the students and faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center, by collecting, organizing, preserving, and disseminating legal and law related information in any form, by providing effective service and instructional programs, and by utilizing electronic information systems to provide access to new information products and services.

Georgetown University Press

Georgetown University Press supports the academic mission of Georgetown University by publishing scholarly books and journals for a diverse, worldwide readership. These publications, written by an international group of authors representing a broad range of intellectual perspectives, reflect the academic and institutional strengths of the university.

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