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Open Access: What is Open Access?

An open access primer for faculty and students at Loras College

Open Access

Open Access Open Lock

Image courtesy of distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License

Unless otherwise noted, all content on this guide is used and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Links About Open Access


Much of the content for this guide was adapted from the following Georgia State University Guide:

Open Access Open Forum 10/29/2012

To view Will Cross' presentation from the Open Access Open Forum in the Loras College Library on 10/29/2012, click here!

What is Open Access?

Open Access:

  • is information that is:
    • Free
    • Unrestricted
    • Online
  • is a movement that wants to increase information access and innovation.
  • usually refers to open access publishing, particularly of scholarly communication in academia.
  • may be an answer to the serials / scholarly communication crisis, which refers to the system where information is locked up in subscription journals and databases whose prices keep rising (as library and college/university budgets stagnate or decrease) and colleges/universities and libraries are forced to pay for the creation of the research as well as to buy it back through subscriptions.
  • is about the democratization of information and knowledge.
  • is carried out largely through digital and institutional repositories, where research (including peer-reviewed journals) is posted online for anyone to access, which are indexed by Google and other search engines increasing visibility and impact of the research.

Open Access Explained!

Related Research Guides

Open Access 101, from SPARC

What are the Advantages?

The advantages of open access are many:

  • Greater visibility and impact of research
  • Increased opportunity for collaboration
  • Easier access to information for anyone
  • Takes advantage of technology - text mining and the digital environment
  • Better return on investment for research sponsors
  • Encourages and enables greater innovation
  • Faster than traditional publishing
  • Contributes to education's mission of advancing knowledge

Open Access Increases Impact

Data Source:Steve Lawrence, “Online or Invisible?” Nature, 2001, 411 (6837): 521 ; Pre-print available as Open Access.
Image Source: Open Access: A SPARC Brochure. (c) 2004 SPARC Distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution 1.0 License  

For more benefits of open access visit these links:

Subject Guide

Heidi Pettitt
ARC 235