What is Open Access?
Quite simply, Open Access is a movement that arose in the academic community in response to huge paywalls imposed by publishers. Essentially, publishers are preventing people from accessing research unless they’re able to pay incredibly steep fees.
While researchers at a well-funded university are generally not affected by these costs, that leaves the rest of the world without access to this research. If a researcher is at a university that doesn’t pay for a certain publisher, or if a researcher is unaffiliated with an institution that can cover these costs, they are unable to read these papers- arguably to the detriment of scientific advancement.
Further, consider this: your tax dollars are being spent by the government on scientific research. You are not allowed to read the results of this research unless you pay- again- for the privileges of reading it. Oftentimes, you’d have to pay per paper.
Why is it so important ?
By making scientific research results easily accessible to all, everyone can immediately read, use, educate or build upon existing scientific work, accelerating the spread of knowledge worldwide. Research already showed that Open Access publishing results in faster scientific communication, wider influences of scientific knowledge on the industry, government, and education, and more knowledge uptake in society.
Where can I find more information?
We’re glad you’re interested!
The best example is to just show you- our Open Access Library
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Open Access
This is the Berlin Declaration of Open Access
An excellent definition of Open Access by SPARC
An explanation by OpenSource.com
And, finally, from our friends at Open Access Netherlands