An Open Access publication is one that meets the following conditions:
The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small number of printed copies for their personal use.
A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable Open Access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.
Open Access is a property of individual works.
Community standards, rather than copyright law, will continue to provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published work.
The Open Access movement – A comprehensive outlook
In recent times, there has been a lot of debate on the implementation of Open Access for research publications. Keeping this in mind, a comprehensive outlook on Open Access and its impact on scientific community is being provided in this article.
Open Access should be seen as a means of accelerating scientific discovery by providing free and unrestricted access of scientific knowledge via the Internet. An essential role of Open Access is the long-term preservation of peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles and research data. Open Access is not only used for journal articles but is also being implemented to theses, scholarly monographs, and book chapters. Promotion of Open Access is very crucial to encourage innovation, socio-economic development, and flow of knowledge around the world. As such, Open Access can be defined as an instrument ultimately used for public welfare to stimulate the growth of global science, as well as maintain the quality of scientific achievements at the same time.
Restricted access to research findings and scientific discovery through subscription and pay-per-view journals will only impede communication through the scientific community. In addition, restricted access can also hamper the education and dissemination of scientific knowledge to the aspiring younger generations who are keen to pursue a career in science. Increased productivity and development of science can only be achieved by diffusing knowledge and providing the facilities for creating permanent repositories such as Open Access.
Through Open Access publications, scientists can avoid subscription fees and copyright and licensing restrictions to access free scholarly literature. Since Open Access publishing allows the permanent restoration of scientific data through digital copies, other than the constraint of Internet access, scientists around the world can freely share information and collaborate to enhance the progress of science. Open Access journals not only give royalty to free literature, but also reduce costs for paper-copy production, physical storage, and distribution through digitalized copies.
The benefits of implementing Open Access are reaped by many end users, such as, students, researchers, clinicians, patients, policy makers, and journalists. As long as there is Internet access, people from all over the world, be it an underdeveloped country in Africa, a developing country like India or developed countries such as USA or UK, will have immediate access to latest research findings. Thus, Open Access initiative helps in unlocking the traditional methods of subscription articles and releasing information to tertiary level readers, who normally would not have access to first hand research studies.