About Open Access

About Open Access

Open Access is the quick, online, costless availability of research outputs without restrictions on use commonly imposed by publisher right of publication agreements. Open Access includes the outputs that scholars normally give away for costless for publication; it includes peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers and datasets of various kinds and that electronic scholarly articles are available freely at the point of use. Open access deals with free access to and reuse of scholarly works.

What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) refers to online research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access (e.g. access tolls) and free of many restrictions on use (e.g. certain copyright and license restrictions). Open access can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters, and monographs.

Open access (OA) journals are scholarly journals that are available online to the reader "without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself". They remove price barriers (e.g. subscription, licensing fees, pay-per-view fees) and most permission barriers (e.g. copyright and licensing restrictions). While open access journals are freely available to the reader, there are still costs associated with the publication and production of such journals. Some are subsidized, and some require payment on behalf of the author.

Benefits for Open Access

Open Access benefits researchers, institutions, nations and society as a whole. For researchers, it brings increased visibility, usage and impact for their work. Institutions enjoy the same benefits in aggregated form.

More people can read the results of scholarly research, including those who would otherwise not be able to access that information because they cannot afford the subscription to an expensive journal, for example.

New ideas can be dispersed more rapidly and widely, which in turn triggers new research studies; it serves as an impetus for knowledge.

Businesses also have broad access to the most recent scientific ideas, which they can then build on. Open access contributes to the knowledge economy and provides an economic boost.

Since open access also implies wider reuse, recent knowledge can be put to immediate use in teaching.

There is growing evidence to show that countries also benefit because Open Access increases the impact of the research in which they invest public money and therefore there is a better return on investment.