Open Access (OA) is all about sharing research freely and openly. There is a moral principle or spirit behind OA which states that publicly funded research should be openly and freely available. What that comes down to for the average researcher, is that a copy of a research paper should be placed online as soon as possible after publication or completion with no restrictions on who can access, view or download it. In this way OA bypasses current obstacles to access such as the prohibitive cost of journal subscriptions that exclude most people from viewing research.
Open Access as a movement has been around for a number of years but support has grown significantly in the UK over the last few years for two reasons:
Find out more about the Open Access Movement
- Listen to Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of the Wellcome Trust, on why Open Access is important.
- Go Open Access, a series of short films aiming to promote wider awareness and understanding of Open Access.
- Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission on libraries, access to knowledge and Open Access.
- An interesting 23 minutes video presentation by Stevan Harnad, a leading exponent of Open Access.
- Stevan Harnad’s open access web pages.
- An interesting set of web pages from the Open Citation Project on the effect of Open Access and downloads on citation impact.
- The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) section on Open Access.