Hybrid Open Access

All Common Ground journals are a Hybrid Open Access publications. Hybrid Open Access is a new development, increasingly offered by both university presses and well-known commercial publishers.

Hybrid Open Access means that some articles are available only to subscribers, while others are made available at no charge to anyone searching the web. Authors pay an additional fee for the open access option. They may do this because open access is a requirement of their research funding agency. Or they may do it so that non-subscribers can access their article for free.

Common Ground’s open access charge is $250 per article, a very reasonable price compared to our hybrid open access competitors and purely open access journals that are resourced with an author publication fee. Electronic papers are normally only available through individual or institutional subscriptions or for purchase at $5 per article. However, if you choose to make your paper Open Access, this means that anyone on the web may download it for free.

There are still considerable benefits for paying subscribers, because they can access all articles in the journal, from both current and past volumes, without any restrictions. But making your paper available at no charge increases its visibility, accessibility and thus potential readership.

Like to make your paper Open Access? Contact us.


FAQs and Resources

What is Hybrid Open Access and how does it differ from purely Open Access journal publishing?

The hybrid model is a mixed revenue model of subscription charges and publication fees. It offers authors of accepted papers the choice to pay a fee in order for their article to be made freely available for viewing and downloading by anyone immediately upon publication. This model also grants readers broad reuse rights to encourage the widespread republication and distribution of Open Access articles (with the proper citation of the author and publisher).

Typically, purely Open Access journals are either subsidized by academic institutions learned societies, foundations, or government agencies or they charge a significant front-end fee. These fees may be paid by the author him/herself, but more often they are covered by research grants or an author’s academic institution or employer.

The Hybrid Open Access model allows Common Ground to keep our Open Access fees low—much lower than our competitors—because it consists of a mixed revenue model of both subscription charges and publication fees

How does Common Ground’s publishing model and Hybrid Open Access option differ from traditional academic publishing models?

Traditional academic journal publishers usually do not charge authors article processing or publishing fees. Instead, they charge academic and research libraries exorbitant subscription fees in exchange for access to their journal content. These fees are then passed on to students, faculty, and unaffiliated researchers through tuition hikes, budget cuts, and paywalls. Thus, while it may be gratis for authors to submit to and publish in these journals, their work is not freely accessible to subscribers, nor is it easily or widely accessible to scholars working at institutions unable to afford the subscription fees.

Common Ground’s more inclusive alternative to this model is twofold. First, we levy a modest charge when an article has undergone peer review and been accepted for publication. Currently this charge is associated with a specific conference and it entitles authors to much more than just the right to submit their paper for publication consideration. This modest fee supports the livelihoods of Common Ground’s small but dedicated conference, publishing, and software development staff. Second, by charging a small fee on the front end, we are able to offer reasonable subscription charges based on a tiered-pricing model, which means that more institutions are able to subscribe to our journals. Additionally, all of our articles are available for download to non-subscribers for $5 per article. Redistributing the costs associated with publishing and keeping these prices both reasonable and competitive is part of Common Ground’s larger mission to shift the balance of power in publishing to ensure that quality work is published and easily accessed by the largest and most diverse group of students, scholars, and practitioners, whether they are working within well-known and well-endowed universities or producing work within smaller institutions or organizations that have been hitherto barred from full access to many scholarly networks.

The Hybrid Open Access model allows us to go one step further towards maximizing the accessibility of the work we publish. By making your journal article Open Access, you remove all the barriers of access to your research. However, you are still able to take advantage of the journal’s scholarly profile and record, its visibility in academic indexes, and the vibrant community of scholars who browse the exceptional articles that we feature on our website.

What are the benefits of making your paper Open Access?

By publishing in the journal, your article is already available to the thousands of scholars who have individual subscriptions or whose institutions subscribe to the journal. However, making your paper open access will allow your work to reach an even wider audience. Researchers who may come across your article in one of the indexes that the journal is listed in will be able to download the full text of the paper. Indeed, anyone on the web will be able to access your entire article, thus broadening the dissemination of your research and increasing the incidence other scholars citing your work.

Where does the Open Access fee go?

The $250 fee that you pay Common Ground to make your article Open Access covers the revenue that Common Ground loses as result of offering our content to non-subscribers for free. It also contributes to the overall sustainability of Common Ground and the livelihoods of its staff.

Institutional Open Access

Common Ground is proud to announce an exciting new model of scholarly publishing called Institutional Open Access.

Institutional Open Access allows faculty and graduate students to submit articles to Common Ground journals for unrestricted open access publication. These articles will be freely and publicly available to the whole world through our hybrid open access infrastructure. With Institutional Open Access, instead of the author paying a per-article open access fee, institutions pay a set annual fee that entitles their students and faculty to publish a given number of open access articles in Common Ground’s peer reviewed academic journals.

The rights to the article remain with the subscribing institution. Both the author and the institution can also share the final typeset version of the article in any place they wish, including institutional repositories, personal websites and privately or publicly accessible course materials. We support the highest Sherpa/Romeo access level—Green.

For more information on Institutional Open Access or to put us in touch with your department head or funding body, please contact us.


The annual Institutional Open Access fee covers the costs for a given number of faculty or students from an institution to publish accepted articles open access. The fee structure is as follows:

5 articles: $1125
10 articles: $2250
15 articles: $3375
20+ articles: Please contact us for a quote.


Why is Institutional Open Access good for authors?

Publishing articles open access increases their visibility, accessibility, and citation counts. Institutional Open Access allows an author’s institution to support the research of its students and faculty and transact directly with the publisher, so that scholars are not responsible for paying a manuscript or publication fee.

Why is Institutional Open Access good for departments and institutions?

Institutional Open Access provides faculty and research students in an institution the right to make accepted articles open access at no additional cost. By publishing as open access, both the authors and the institution enjoy significant additional visibility for their work, and have the right to freely distribute and archive final typeset articles.

Why is Institutional Open Access good for libraries?

With Institutional Open Access, Libraries recover the copyright of the raw material created by the scholars working at their institution. Libraries can include the typeset version of published articles in their institutional repositories, thereby showing the finalized "intellectual products" of their institution to the world.

What if faculty or students want to attend and/or present at the Common Ground conference that is associated with the journal they are submitting their work to?

The Institutional Open Access fee covers conference registrations equal to an institution’s participation tier. This means that 5 people from an institution participating at the 5-article level may attend a Common Ground conference at no additional charge.

Do all the faculty and students from a given institution have to submit their articles to the same Common Ground journal?

No. Members of an organization participating in the Institutional Open Access program can choose which one of Common Grounds 79 journals they would like to submit to. If an institution participates at the 5-article level, each of those five articles may be submitted to a different journal.

What if an article is not accepted for publication?

When an organization decides to participate in the Institutional Open Access program, they select a participation tier. Each tier corresponds to a specific number of allotted open access publications. As a result, if an institution chooses to participate at the 10-article level, that means that during a one-year period, Common Ground will publish 10 open access articles by members of that institution. However, if 10 articles are submitted but only 8 are accepted for publication after peer review, the institution and its members may submit 2 additional articles for publication consideration. The tier number refers to actual publications, not necessarily article submissions. All submissions undergo initial editorial review and anonymous peer review before a final publication decision is made.

What if faculty and students of a participating institution want to make articles that were previously published in Common Ground journals open access now?

Previously published articles can count towards the tier number that a participating institution chooses. For example, an institution participating at the 15-article level could publish 10 new submissions as open access articles and make 5 previously published articles open access.