"Open Access is a growing international movement that uses the Internet to throw open the locked doors that once hid knowledge. Encouraging the unrestricted sharing of research results with everyone, the Open Access movement is gaining ever more momentum around the world as research funders and policy makers put their weight behind it." (http://tinyurl.com/2e6gr4c/)
Open Access (OA) refers to the accessibility of research. Often described as a new model of scholarly communication, OA is an alternative to the currently unsustainable practice of providing access to all research through subscriptions. Those benefiting from OA include not just scholars, but anyone with an Internet connection and the need or want to access research.
Internationally and here in the US, a growing number of institutions are signing on to the concept of Open Access through OA Policies or Mandates which state that their researchers will make use of a local institutional repository to preserve their scholarly writings.
In June 2013, the OSU faculty passed an open access policy that requires the deposit of articles to the ScholarsArchive@OSU open access institutional repository. Faculty may use the Article Deposit Form to deposit their articles.
The past decade has seen a steep increase in the number of open access journals. Fewer than half charge article processing charges, or APCs. Some are distributed by traditional publishers such as Nature Publishing Group, Wiley, and Elsevier. Other credible publishers are fully open, like PLOS and PeerJ. Oregon State University faculty can have their costs covered for publication in PeerJ. Unfortunately, along with the rise of credible open access journals, there has been a parallel rise in predatory publishers. The scholarly communication librarian has written a blog post about identifying and avoiding predatory publishers.
Journals may have different levels of openness, as shown by the graphic below from SPARC [click on the image to be taken to a version where you can zoom in].
A five minute screencast of frequently asked questions about Open Access at OSU is now available on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGR7kgL_qQc. This screencast was developed at the request of the Faculty Senate President, Kate Hunter-Zaworski, and may be used by library faculty speaking to academic units about open access.
The "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities" grew out of a 2003 international Conference on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, initiated by the Max Planck Society in Berlin, Germany. Its goal is to make scientific and scholarly research more accessible to the broader public by taking full advantage of the possibilities offered by digital electronic communication. "The Declaration acknowledges that an institution’s mission for disseminating knowledge is incomplete if the information is not made widely and readily available throughout society. In order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, interactive, and transparent, and content must be made openly accessible."
Learn more at the Berlin Declaration Website: http://oa.mpg.de/lang/en-uk/