Open Access (OA) refers to the means of providing free and unrestricted access and use of information. SPARC (2018) define open access as
... free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.
Why Open access?
authors can disseminate the research more widely with no pay-wall restriction.
authors can retain control on their work than signing off all the rights to publishers
can accelerate innovation in the particular research field of your work
an alternative to subscription-based journals
enables researchers, who cannot afford to pay for journals, to access research
Further reading: Why Open Access?, an article by The Right to Research Coalition that outlines the benefits of OA according to your role.
What can I do to encourage open access?
If you are a scholar,
participate in open publishing and open resources,
consider self- archiving through instituitional repository, PRISM and Vault, and
spread the word about open access among your colleagues.
Do you like to read more about open access? Visit Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook (OASIS).
SPARC. (2018). Open Access. Retrieved from https://sparcopen.org/open-access/
Open Access Models
Green Open Access: It is the self-archiving of published or pre-publication work for free access. In most cases, authors share pre-print or post-print through an institutional repository or disciplinary archive like arXiv.org
Gold Open Access: Gold open access provides unrestricted and immediate online access to the full content of a scholarly journal through the publisher's website. This model requires the author/institution to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC).
Hybrid Open Access: This provides unrestricted and immediate online access to individual articles for which authors or their institution pay an Article Processing Charge.