What is open access?

What is open access?

By Open Access, we mean the free availability of literature on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, […] or use material for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers […] (Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002)





 Open Access is defined as free, online, immediate, permanent access to the full-text version of a scientific or scholarly article. This means that anyone anywhere in the world can access the content of articles published in Open Access. All they need is an Internet access.
 In many cases, Open Access also includes the removal of any legal barriers that would otherwise limit the use of the material, so that it can be copied, distributed or publicly communicated, and even transformed (by being translated, for example), provided that authorship is properly attributed and the integrity of the published work is maintained. The first case is described as gratis OA, and the second as libre OA.
 Open Access is compatible with copyright and with review processes. The availability of a text for free online does not mean it has not been checked, or that it is unnecessary to respect the terms under which it is made available. What changes is the method of dissemination. Rather than requiring that users have a subscription, the material is made available based on publication models that permit Open Access.
In recent years Open Access has become more established thanks to initiatives launched by various institutions based on the Budapest, Bethesda and Berlin (BBB) declarations, made in the early years of this century.
 BBB declarations
The three Bs stand for the cities of Budapest, Bethesda and Berlin, where three key meetings were held to lay the foundations of the Open Access movement. Three important declarations on the subject came out of these meetings:


 Routes to Open Access


 Self-archiving: green route

 OA journals: gold route


For more information, consult the FAQs on copyright or contact us via User support service (SAU), or the CRAI Office for Knowledge Dissemination.



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