Open access is a goal, not a methodology, and publishers, authors, readers, and funding institutions all continue to explore various options to offer creators that can remove barriers to accessing their works. While creators are often limited to the options offered by publishers and institutions, two recent developments in open access provide a new way forward and show an ongoing commitment to making scholarship more publicly accessible.

We wrote about the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts in August 2020, and MIT has recently launched the Direct to Open framework. Direct to Open is a “library-supported open access model” where instead of institutions buying a single copy of a book, they will pay a fee based on library size and other factors to unlock all books from the press for everyone. MIT Press believes that this model will simultaneously make its publications more accessible and make academic publishing more financially feasible.

The Horizon 2020 program has also reaffirmed and strengthened its commitment to open science. Horizon Europe will succeed Horizon 2020 and continue to fund projects for both individual scientists and collaborative projects. Under the program, ” immediate open-access publishing will become mandatory for all recipients of Horizon Europe research grants.” Under the conditions of the grants, researchers will be required to deposit a peer-reviewed copy of their paper to a repository, and grants will cover the cost of publishing in pure open-access (but not hybrid) journals.

For supporters of open access, it is encouraging to see institutions continuing their commitment to the movement and improving on methods that can make it financially sustainable while protecting the interests of creators as well. Through our institutional repository ISU ReD, Milner Library and Illinois State University are committed to providing open-access publishing options for our faculty, staff, and students. Authors can often place preprints and published articles in a wide variety of formats on ISU ReD. If you wish to discuss these options further, for current or already published research, please contact Milner Library’s Scholarly Communication Team at

Additional reading from the Scholarly Communication Team