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Open access

Open access defined

Open access (OA) means that the outputs of scholarship and research are made available online and world-wide, in perpetuity, free of charge and free of other access restrictions.

Open access publication provides free, open, online access to journal articles, and other scholarly outputs including conference papers, theses, books, book chapters and datasets.

Open access sharing and publication aims to accelerate the pace of discovery and innovation and enrich education by facilitating the worldwide communication of research and scholarship.

Open access shifts the costs of publishing so that the reader can obtain the content at no cost.

Open access logo: open padlock


Watch "Open Access" by JISCmedia video below to gain a better understanding of open access publishing. Thise  videos are part of the series of short films about open access information platform made by

The benefits of OA

For authors: OA raises your online presence leading to increased visibility, exposure, and impact of your research through expanded readership.

For researchers: OA provides free, online access to peer-reviewed research. You are not limited by your institution’s subscriptions to a defined group of journals.

For universities: OA increases public visibility of research being undertaken at the university. It facilitates and reveals research activity, knowledge-sharing, and innovation.

The "Why open access" diagram below provides an excellent visual representation of the benefits of Open Access.

Understanding OA in the academic environment

Authors interested in knowing more about the Open Access movement will find the following two resources informative:

Rubow, L., Shen, R., & Schofield, B. (2016). Understanding Open Access: When, Why & How to Make Your Work Openly Accessible available under a CC BY 4.0 International licence.

Kylie Pappalardo’s Understanding Open Access in the academic environment:  A guide for authors which is available under a CC BY NC-SA licence.

Open access and scholarly publishing