The majority of academic journals are now published online and make their articles available by means of a paid subscription or via membership arrangements (for example, an academic library). Over the last two decades a new scholarly publishing model known as Open Access (OA), enabled by the wide adoption of the internet, has emerged and grown rapidly.
Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.
(Peter Suber, director of the Havard Office for Scholarly Communication, http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/brief.htm)
The publication of scholarly material via an OA journal provides immediate access at no, or little, cost. Researchers can make their work open access by one of two ways; by depositing an open access copy of their published work in a repository or by publishing in an open access journal (Australasian Open Access Support Group http://aoasg.org.au/what-is-open-access/)
The benefits of OA have been embraced by the academic community, particularly in the science disciplines. Boston College Libraries summarises the totality of the benefits of OA to academia:
In addition to benefiting consumers of scholarly information, open access also benefits scholars, increasing the visibility, influence, and potential benefit of their research. It helps redress global inequity of access to scholarship by dismantling cost barriers to research dissemination. And it returns research results more swiftly and readily to the public, who provide much of the funding for scholarly work.
Law, Technology and Humans and Open Access
Law, Technology and Humans adheres to the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access:
… 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 only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.
Law, Technology and Humans applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to all submissions published. This license enables open access – specifically, free immediate access to original works of all types. Under this license, authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. Additionally, the journal platform that Student Success uses to publish research articles is Open Source.
Additional Resources and Links
SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication - See more at: http://www.sparc.arl.org/issues/open-access
The Australasian Open Access Support Group (AOASG) “works to advocate, collaborate, raise awareness, and build capacity in OA in Australasia” See more at: http://aoasg.org.au/
Australasian Open Access Support Group. (2015). What is Open Access? Retrieved from http://aoasg.org.au/what-is-open-access/