Open Access

Open access publishing: an introduction

The open access movement has existed for a number of years now, with the first formal international statement being put forward as the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. This was followed by the Berlin Declaration, proclaimed at the Conference on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2003.

"There are many degrees and kinds of wider and easier access to this literature. By 'open access' to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited."  (1)

The principle behind open access is to make research content freely available online. This content can include anything from journal articles that have been through the peer review process, to so called 'grey' literature that is not published through conventional channels. 
The open access movement can be broken down into two different approaches which complement each other:

  • Open access publishing (Gold road)
  • Open access archiving (Green road)

1. Suber, P. (2010) Open access overview [WWW]. Available from: [Accessed 04/08/2011].

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PILOT - Communication by Marion Kelt, GCU, Imperial College, London and East Midlands Research Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.