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Open Access: What is it?

Open  Access is  free,  immediate,  permanent  online  access  to  the  full  text  of research  articles  for  anyone, web wide, without  the  severe  restrictions  on  use  commonly imposed by publisher copyright agreements.

There are two roads to open access:

·          the “green road” of open access self-archiving, where authors provide open access to their own published articles, by making their own e-prints (the final accepted version) freely available to all by placing them in institutional or central repositories;


 the “golden road” of open access journal-publishing, where journals provide open access to their articles (either by charging the author/institution, a publication or processing fee instead of charging a subscription fee from the user/institution, or by simply making  their  online  edition  free  for  all  and  recouping  the  publication  and  production  costs from other source).

An Open Access Publication is one that meets the following two conditions:


The  author(s)  and  copyright  holder(s)  grant(s) to  all  users  a  free,  irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit  and  display  the  work  publicly  and  to  make  and  distribute  derivative  works,  in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.


 A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of  the  permission  as  stated  above,  in  a  suitable  standard  electronic  format  is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving (for the biomedical sciences, PubMed Central is such a repository).

The  two  roads  to open  access,  viz. open access self-archiving  and open  access publishing, are complementary. Normally, by open access we mean open access to refereed research papers. But open access does not exclude other forms of scholarly material such as preprints, theses, conference papers and reports.


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