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The Solution: Open Access

Luckily for students, doctors, patients, and everyone else who relies on academic journals, there is a proven alternative to costly subscription-based based journals.  Using the Internet, research can be distributed to a wider audience at a very low marginal cost – the difference between what it costs to distribute an article to one person or to one million people is very small.  Instead of locking information behind price barriers, research can reach anyone who needs it, regardless of university affiliation, geographic location, or ability to pay.  It’s time for a new model – it’s time for Open Access.   

Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, unrestricted availability of high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship over the Internet – combined with the rights to use this information to its fullest possible extent.  

Open Access ensures that the results of scholarly research are made available online for anyone to freely use, immediately upon publication, and removes barriers to scholarly and educational re-use.  It recognizes that while there are legitimate costs associated with formal publication, these can be effectively covered in ways that do not require toll barriers for users to access an article.

 

Open Access is made possible in a number of ways, including:

  • Open-access journals that make their articles freely available at the time of publication

  • Open digital repositories, where articles are deposited and can be indexed and accessed by anyone with an Internet connection

  • Effectively managed copyright – authors are retaining the rights they need to ensure their articles can be accessed and used by the widest possible audience, and be published in the most prestigious venue

  • Local, national and international policies that support Open Access to scholarly research results

Open Access has achieved remarkable success to date: more than 5,000 open-access journals are published today, accounting for approximately 20% of all published journals1,2;  millions of articles are currently being made available via open-access repositories; and dozens of proposed and established policies from universities and research funders are in play in support of Open Access3; but still much more needs to be done.

ACT NOW

LEARN MORE: Why Open Access?


[1] The Directory of Open Access Journals (accessed 07/25/10)

[2] "Dramatic Growth of Open Access," Heather Morrison, 06/30/10 (accessed 07/25/10)

[3] Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies (ROARMAP), (accessed 07/25/10)

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