“By 'open access' to the literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself."
The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities
Open access (OA) means free access to information and unrestricted use of electronic resources for everyone. Any kind of digital content can be OA, from texts and data to software, audio, video, and multi-media. While most of these are related to text only, a growing number are integrating text with images, data, and executable code. OA can also apply to non-scholarly content, like music, movies, and novels.
A publication is considered in Open access if:
- its content is universally and freely accessible, at no cost to the reader, via the Internet or otherwise;
- the author or copyright owner irrevocably grants to all users, for an unlimited period, the right to use, copy, or distribute the article, on condition that proper attribution is given;
- it is deposited, immediately, in full and in a suitable electronic form, in at least one widely and internationally recognized open access repository committed to open access.
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