Open Access

Open access literature is digital, online, free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Instead of standard copyright, creative commons licenses are used. The literature can usually be freely read, downloaded, copied, stored, printed but whether it can be re-used for commercial or non-commercial purposes, and  whether derivative works can be created depends on the creative commons license that the rights holder chose for their work. The work always has to be attributed.

Common Creative Commons Licenses:

CC-BY: Attribution by – licensees may copy, distribute, display, perform the work and make derivative works but the work has to be attributed.

CC-BY-SA: Attribution Share-Alike Licence: licensees may distribute derivative works on the same terms, the same license as original work. The author has to be properly cited.

CC-BY-NC: Attribution Non-commercial Licence: licensees may copy, distribute, display, perform the work and make derivatives works based on it only for non-commercial purposes. The author has to be acknowledged.

CC-BY-ND: Licensees may copy, distribute, display, perform the work but they can not make derivative works. The author has to be acknowledged.

In reality there is also another very common form of open access for which the more appropriate name is: Gratis OA. It means free-of-charge access to the work which is copyrighted. In this case, only the price and accessibility barriers are removed but permissible uses are limited to “fair use”. The work can be read, printed, downloaded, stored for personal use only.

Some Basic Open Access Models:

Open Access Economic Models:

Open Access Publishers:

Publishers of subscription-based journals in which some articles or titles are open access:

OA publishing options as part of WBN licence for 2022:

Open access repositories:

Whether you are a reader, an author, a researcher, it’s good to know various publishers copyright policies and their stand on open access. SHERPA/RoMEO is a database where you can find relevant information about copyright and archiving policies of various publishers. You can browse the journal titles and publishers, search for specific journals  and publishers by entering journal title or ISSN or publisher name  in the search box.