What is Open Access?
Open access is an international effort to see free and open online access to information and resources (both scholarly and otherwise). According to International Open Access Week, a publication is considered open when there are no monetary, legal, or technological barriers to access. When people can read, download, copy, distribute, print, and search within information freely, or use it for educational purposes, the information is considered open.
Why is Open Access Important?
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), a huge proponent for open access, believes that open access is important because “to further the development of knowledge, people need to have access to relevant literature. But without dissemination, knowledge remains invisible…Open Access is a powerful tool of education by reinforcing people’s information and helping their creativity”.
In addition, the open movement is about more than just reducing the cost of materials for students. Open aims to create a more equitable playing field allowing for the inclusion of diverse voices that have often been shut out of commercial publishing. Advocating for and utilizing open access is a step toward a more socially just society.
For an overview of open access watch this video from PHD Comics:
Want to know more about Pennsylvania’s efforts in affordable learning? Visit Affordable Learning PA https://www.affordablelearningpa.org/
For more information about open educational resources and the Library’s Affordable Learning Implementation Grant visit https://guides.library.scranton.edu/OER