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Open Access guide

What is Open Access?

Open Access is the free, immediate online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results—to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives. - Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)

The Library can help you find, use and create Open Access (OA) content, including:

Why does Open Access matter to me?

Open Access content is freely available to everyone, meaning anyone with an internet connection can access OA scholarly work without barriers. The benefits are outlined in the Right to Research Coalition's article Why Open Access?:

Researchers:

  • higher impact for published work
  • research can be found by new audiences around the world
  • new research partners can be identified

Students:

  • Open Access removes the barriers of high journal subscription costs, which can be cost prohibitive and put smaller institutions at a greater disadvantage 
  • professors can only teach content they have access to; courses will be higher quality when professors have access to the resources they need

Member of the public:

  • OA gives the public access to research often funded by their taxes 
  • when researchers and students have improved access to scholarly works, innovation and advancements in research happen more quickly