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Open Access at Washington University

Information about open access publishing options and issues

Two Definitions of OA

 Open Access when applied to scholarly publishing encompasses three related but distinct issues – author rights, accessibility, and user rights.

The purest form of open access advocates unimpeded access to scholarly research in digital format that is free from most copyright and licensing restrictions. This means that the material is available without a subscription charge for anyone to read, download, copy, distribute, print, display and modify. From a practical standpoint this means that anyone with access to the Internet can find and use, to the fullest capacity, any open access publication.

Source: Open Access

Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance.

From A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access by Peter Suber.

Ten questions & answers about open access

1. What is open access?

2. How does open access work financially?

3. What are some examples of open access journals and publishers?

4. What are some examples of open access repositories/archives?

5. How does open access affect me?

6. Is open access compatible with peer review?

7. Is open access compatible with copyright?

8. What are some criticisms of OA?

9. What’s the difference between freely available articles, public access and open access?

10. How can I participate in the open access movement?

OA Vocabulary

Author's Addenda


Author's Rights


Creative Commons





Institutional Repository


Open Access Repositories



Open Access Journal





Open access in less than 4 minutes

Open Access 101, from SPARC on Vimeo...3 minutes

Open Access Resources