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Open Access: Introduction

What is Open Access?

Open Access  (OA) is "the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment" (SPARC).

The 5 Rs

Circle with '5R' in centre, surrounded by text: "Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute, Retain" In order to be "open", a resource must meet the 5 Rs:
  • Reuse: Content can be reused without need for subscription or payment.
  • Retain: Users can keep their own copies of the content.
  • Revise: Content can be modified or adapted.
  • Remix: Content can be combined with other resources to create a new work.
  • Redistribute: Users can share copies of the content with others.

Types of OA

Gold OA is immediate and unrestricted access to the journal article as published, usually with a Creative Commons licence.

Green OA refers to deposit of a pre-print or post-print of the manuscript to a repository, sometimes after an embargo period.

Why Open Access Matters

  • OA publishing makes it possible for more people to have access to scholarship
  • Works that are OA are cited more often and have greater impact
  • Making research more available accelerates innovationdiagram summarizing benefits of open access publishing

This guide is licensed CC BY-SA.