by Peter Suber
Open Access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of
most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the
internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.
OA literature is not free to produce, even if it is less expensive to produce
than conventionally published literature. The question is not whether
scholarly literature can be made costless, but whether there are better
ways to pay the bills than by charging readers and creating access barriers.
Business models for paying the bills depend on how OA is delivered.
OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives
for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance. Just as
authors of journal articles donate their labor, so do most journal editors
and referees participating in peer review.
For more information: see Peter Suber's overview of Open Access:
Want to learn even more? Read the book Understanding Open Access by the Authors Alliance. The electronic version is open access and free to download.
There is an interesting relationship between altmetrics and open access. One could even refer to altmetrics as open metrics. This is firstly due to the fact that altmetrics data uses open sources.
Open access research outputs that are themselves promoted via social web applications enjoy higher visibility and accessibility than those published within the commercial scholarly communication model, increasing the prospect of public consumption and engagement.
If you are a fan of data sharing, open data, open science, and generally openness in research, you’ve heard them all: excuses for keeping data out of the public domain. If you are NOT a fan of openness, you should be. For both groups (the fans and the haters), I’ve decided to construct a “Frankenstein monster” blog post composed of other peoples’ suggestions for how to deal with the excuses.