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Open Access

This research guide provides readers with a basic understanding of Open Access, which is broadly defined as content that is free to access and re-use.

Copyright Questions?

The University of Michigan Library Copyright Office provides help with copyright questions for University of Michigan faculty, staff and students. Please email us with questions or visit our website for more information.

Legal Advice

The information presented here is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have specific legal questions pertaining to the University of Michigan, please contact the Office of the General Counsel.

If you require legal advice in your personal capacity, the lawyer referral services operated by the Washtenaw County Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan may be helpful to you.

What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) refers to material that is available online and can be read by everyone for free. It is often available for use and sharing without the copyright and licensing restrictions commonly placed on published works. By making their work available in this manner, authors ensure that the broadest possible audience can read and use it, without limiting it to only those who are affiliated with research libraries or can afford costly journal subscriptions. Open access is not defined by a particular business model or type of content. Rather, open access is an approach to sharing one's work with the wider world.

Additional LibGuides Related to Open Access

Services of the University of Michigan Library Copyright Office

Our office provides information to help you make decisions about sharing and using copyrighted material in your research, learning, and teaching. In addition to copyright guides like this one and online resources on our website, please take advantage of our person-to-person services.

Email Us

Use our email address to ask questions about copyright.

Make an Appointment

We offer virtual 1:1 appointments for U-M students, faculty, and staff. To make an appointment at another time, please email us.

Attend a Workshop

We offer public workshops on copyright. We also offer customized copyright education (presentations, workshops, etc.) for university groups, including faculty, staff, and students. Please email us to request this.

External Services

Although we provide information and education about copyright, we are not able to provide legal advice.

Some copyright-related issues are handled elsewhere at the university:

  • If you have specific legal questions pertaining to the University of Michigan, please contact the Office of the General Counsel.

  • If you believe your copyright has been infringed on a web site hosted by the university, please contact our DMCA agent.

  • If you have questions about using the university trademarks, including the Block M, please consult the Permissions Guide from the university's Office of Communications.

If you require legal advice in your personal capacity, the lawyer referral services operated by the Washtenaw County Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan may be helpful to you.