Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder. - Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project
These links offer more in-depth information about Open Access.
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Created by: Megan N. O'Donnell and Emma Molls for Iowa State University Library. Internal reuse does not require attribution.
There are many advantages associated with Open Access. The ones mentioned below are what many consider to be the most important and promising.
Levels the playing field
Speeds up research
There are actually a number of reasons that Universities and libraries care about and promote Open Access publishing. The two most pressing reasons are:
Subscriptions rates for scholarly journals usually increase every year, often at rates higher than the cost of inflation. The average subscription inflation rate for 2014 was 7%. In comparison the average US inflation rate has been below 6% since 1990.
Not all libraries are able to increase their budgets by this amount every year. Instead they must reallocate funding meant for other purposes or cancel subscriptions to lesser read journals in order to keep more popular titles. In short, scholarship has been compromised by the price tag of subscription publishing.
Universities need to preserve the work of their faculty and students but due to nuances in copyright law, preserving digital copies of work is complicated. Open Access licenses can make it much easier for universities to retain, copy, distribute and preserve digital copies of scholarly work.