Defining Open Access
“Open access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open access ensures that anyone can access and use these results — to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives."
Open access (OA) is a movement centered on the idea that subscription-based publishing models detract from scholarly publishing’s purpose to create and disseminate knowledge. OA makes scholarship available online, free of charge to anyone with access to an internet connection. OA scholarship looks different depending on the publisher and is not the same thing as the public domain. Some copyright restrictions meant to protect creators may apply.
The OA movement emerged at the end of the 20th century as developing digital technologies became more useful for disseminating scholarly information and subscription publishing models became increasingly inaccessible and expensive. The documents and declarations below offer an introduction into the history of the OA movement.