Open Access

Open Access (OA) to scholarly literature and data means that
  • articles and data are digital, online, free of charge for everyone and they are
  • free of most copyright and licensing restrictions which means
  • users are free to reuse as long as they give appropriate credits to the creator.

Removing access barriers will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge. (Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2001)

Learn more benefits


Routes to Open Access

To achieve Open Access to scholarly journal literature, we recommend two complementary strategies:

  • Institutional Repositories (Green Open Access): Scholars deposit their refereed journal articles in open Institutional Repositories) which conform to the standards of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). A listing of open repositories containing peer-reviewed academic content is maintained by the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR).
  • Open Access Journals & Books (Gold Open Access): Journal articles are free to all interested readers over the internet and publishers find sources other than subscriptions to fund peer-review and other legitimate publishing costs. Publishers place no copyright or financial barriers between readers and the research. A useful list of Open Access journals, a resource supported by SPARC Europe, is provided by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
Our work at SPARC Europe is designed to support both strategies.
Find out what research funders, libraries, universities, research institutions and researchers can do to participate in Open Access.

To follow worldwide developments in Open Access, see the Open Access Tracking Project.

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