What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is the practice of providing unrestricted access normally associated with publisher copyright agreements via the Internet to peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles, theses and dissertations, and scholarly monographs and chapters in books. Access is immediate, online and freely available to the end user.

In the Open Access environment, authors generally publish under the Creative Commons Attribution License which allows for free and immediate access to, and unrestricted re-use of, original works of all types. Under this license, authors make their scholarly content legally available for re-use, without permission or fees, and for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute, or re-use these articles, with the condition that the author(s) and original source are properly cited.

The website http://www.open-access.net brings you answers to all kind of questions you may have regarding open access, and more specifically on legal issues related to swiss laws.

If you wish to consult journals in Open Access, check out the Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ).

Open Access Explained

Source: Piled Higher and Deeper Comics 2012
Licensed under Creative Commons License CC BY

What are the benefits of Open Access?

  • Accelerated discovery. With Open Access, researchers can read and build on the findings of others without restriction.
  • Public interest and enrichment. Much scientific and medical research is funded by public funds. Open Access allows taxpayers to benefit from the results of their investment.
  • Improved education. Open Access means that educators and their students have unrestricted access to the latest research findings throughout the world.
  • Data-mining and text-mining. Open Access provides freely available material with which data-mining and text-mining can take place in the semantic web, facilitating the generation of new knowledge from existing findings.

What are the founding conventions for the Open Access movement?

The three original, formal definitions of Open Access are to be found in the founding conventions, namely the Budapest (2002), Bethesda (2003) and Berlin (2003) definitions. A fourth major statement is the updated Budapest BOAI10 Recommendations.

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