What is Open Access?
Open Access is an alternative to the current closed access (toll access) model of scholarly publishing. Closed access publishers require a subscription to access content, limiting the readership and impact of the research and scholarship. Open Access resources make content freely available to all Internet users.
“A publication model where neither readers nor a reader's institution are charged for access to articles or other resources. Users are free to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright … should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.” (Source: Budapest Open Access Initiative)
"Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." (Source: Peter Suber, "Open Access Overview")
"An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge. (Source: Budapest Open Access Initiative)
Watch the video below for a brief explanation of Open Access.