To further the development of knowledge, people need to have access to relevant literature. But without dissemination, knowledge remains invisible. In addition to contributing to improving scientific research, Open Access is a powerful tool of education by reinforcing people's information and helping their creativity.
Publishing in Open Access:
- avoids duplication of research effort, and the resulting financial and time waste
- enhances the transparency of scientific research funding and fosters wider understanding of outstanding scientific questions
- increases the accountability of public institutions
- facilitates the search of information through metadata
- helps people to better appreciate scientists and their work
- closes gaps in the access to knowledge
- enables the building of knowledge databases and re-using published results
The promotion of scientific knowledge and their wide dissemination has clear benefits not only for researchers but also for society as a whole. It serves the interests of many groups, such as:
- Authors: it gives them a worldwide audience and increases the visibility and impact of their work;
- Universities: it increases the visibility of their faculties and research, reduces their expenses for journals, and advances their mission to share knowledge;
- Teachers and students: it puts rich and poor on an equal footing by eliminating the need for payments or permissions to reproduce and distribute content;
- Libraries: with Open Access, librarians can help users find the information they need, regardless of the budget-enforced limits on the library's own collection;
- Citizens: it informs on decisions that are important to everyone. It gives them access to research documents, most of which is unavailable in public libraries and for which they have paid through their taxes;
- Readers: it gives them barrier-free access to the literature they need;
- Journals: it makes their articles more visible, discoverable, retrievable, and useful. This visibility enables to effectively attract submissions, subscriptions and advertising;
- Donors: it increases the return on their investment in research, making the results more widely available. It also provides a fundamental fairness to taxpayers or public access to the results of publicly-funded research;
- Governments: it also promotes democracy by sharing non-classified government information as widely as possible.
See UNESCO OA initiatives.