Open Access (OA) is the free, online availability of scholarly research outputs. OA deals primarily with access to peer-reviewed scholarly articles, for which authors receive no financial compensation.
There are two primary means of achieving Open Access:
Scholars build on the research of others when they undertake new research. Research knowledge is a public good that enables these scholars to gain information, insights and ideas that can lead to new research breakthroughs.
The Internet provides a platform for sharing research results quickly and broadly. The high price of many scholarly journals, however, inhibits the wide distribution of research results, impeding opportunities for further research.
At Mount Allison, one subscription to a database carrying peer-reviewed scientific journals can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year. Journal prices rise each year, while library budgets shrink. Open Access publishing provides an alternative.
Advantages for authors include: