"Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder...
"OA literature is not free to produce, even if it is less expensive to produce than conventionally published literature. The question is not whether scholarly literature can be made costless, but whether there are better ways to pay the bills than by charging readers and creating access barriers."
Peter Sauber (2010) A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access
IS the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access is the needed modern update for the communication of research that fully utilizes the Internet for what it was originally built to do—accelerate research.
IS NOT our current system for communicating research which is crippled by a centuries old model that hasn’t been updated to take advantage of 21st century technology:
Our current system for communicating research uses a print-based model in the digital age. Even though research is largely produced with public dollars by researchers who share it freely, the results are hidden behind technical, legal, and financial barriers. These artificial barriers are maintained by legacy publishers and restrict access to a small fraction of users, locking out most of the world’s population and preventing the use of new research techniques.
Considered the original defining statements on Open Access, the BBB (Budapest, Bethesda and Berlin) statements at the outset of the Open Access movement fundamentally shaped its future.
Thank you to the librarians at the University of the Fraser Valley and the University of Saskatchewan for creating exemplary Open Access guides from which much of this information was derived.