May 21, 2024


The Open Access movement has grown exponentially ever since its inception just a few years ago. Its ever-expanding presence in the academic world exhibits enormous diversity. Much information on the scope of the movement is available online. The design of the present page is 1) to provide an introduction to Open Access (OA) as a movement, 2) to list the many advantages of publishing through Open Access, and 3) to suggest further readings pertaining to the movement.

Origins of Open Access

The open access movement began in the 1990s, as access to the internet became widely available and online publishing became the norm 1. Their common ground is referred to as the “BBB. The BBB Definition is identical to the definition of the Budapest Open Access Initiative

Budapest Open Access Initiative

Open Access to peer-reviewed research literature means:

“…its 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.”2

14th February, 2002: Release of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), a public statement of principles relating to OA to the research literature. This small gathering of individuals is recognized as one of the major defining events of the OA movement. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the initiative, it was reaffirmed in 2012 and supplemented with a set of concrete recommendations for achieving “the new goal that within the next ten years, Open Access will become the default method for distributing new peer-reviewed research in every field and country.”3

Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

The declaration includes the paragraph “Supporting the Transition to the Electronic Open Access Paradigm”. The signatories intend to …
• encourage researchers/grant recipients to publish their work according to the principles
    of the open access paradigm.
• maintain the standards of quality assurance and good scientific practice.
• advocate that open access publication be recognized in promotion and tenure evaluation. 4

“Concerns that Open Access contravenes the rules of good scientific practice are unfounded, given that the same rules apply here as apply to conventional publications (ban on plagiarism, improper adaptation, etc.).” 5

“The so-called ‘serial crises’ has acted as a catalyst for the development of the OA movement and its spread beyond the scientific sector. From the mid-nineties onwards, journal prices spiraled, especially in the natural sciences. University libraries were forced to cancel subscriptions which considerably reduced access to relevant scientific and scholarly knowledge and information.” 6

“Many research funders have published an Open Access policy, in which they adopt a clear stance on OA. This policy … clarifies the concrete funding measures and the areas of focus that arise from the organisation’s stance on OA and details the conditions under which funding is forthcoming.”7

Arguments in favor of Open Access8 :

    • “Increased visibility and higher citation rates”
    • “Fast, toll-free access to information”
    • “Good findability via search engines and reference services”
    • “All the benefits of digital documents”
    • “Improved information supply and a way out of the serials crisis”
    • “Promotes international and inter-disciplinary cooperation”
    • “Greater research efficiency through early discussion of findings”
    • “Authors retain exploitation rights”
    • “Open access to publicly-funded research results”
    • “Long-term document availability”


  6. http://open-