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Open Access

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What is Open Access?

Open Access is about changing the way scholars share their work with the world.

Open Access means making research available online to the public to read and use free of charge and with as few restrictions as possible. Authors participating in open access, whether through self-archiving in an institutional repository or publishing in open access journals, often retain more rights to their work than those publishing in fee-based journals and enjoy the benefits of greater distribution to a more diverse audience. The public benefits from having access to the best and most up-to-date information available, including medical research and scientific discoveries.

In 2002, the Budapest Open Access Initiative defined open access as the "world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature, completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds." Since then, the concept of open access has grown to include similarly free and unrestricted access to textbooks, data, and other scholarly and academic resources.

Finding and Using Open Access Resources

Visit our Open Access Resources subject guide for all the latest on creating and using open access materials!

Publishing in Open Access Journals

Northeastern-affiliated authors can benefit from the Library's supporting memberships with two major Open Access publishers: BioMedCentral and Public Library of Science (PLoS).

Get Involved!

The Electronic Frontier Foundation suggests ways students can help advocate for open access:
- "Three Things Students Can Do Now to Promote Open Access"