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Open Access in Depth: Introduction

This is a guide for issues surrounding the open access movement. It also includes links to open access resources, projects and repositories.

What is Open Access?

"Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions."

- Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, and a leader in the open access movement.

Click here for Suber's "Very brief introduction to open access."

Read Suber's article on six common OA myths published in The Guardian's higher education blog.

Definitions & History of the Movement

The Open Access Directory is a wiki hosted by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College.  It contains many useful links to FAQs, terminology and events surrounding the history of the OA movement.

Click here to browse the directory.


The BOAI (2002) is considered to be one of the founding international statements on OA to all scholarly literature. 


The Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) focused on OA to scientific research and literature.


The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) focused on the Internet as a medium for conveying knowledge.




Open Access Explained


The Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook covers concepts and approaches to open access from a variety of perspectives, including researchers, publishers, librarians, and students.  Includes links to case studies.


The Harvard Open Access Project is a comprehensive resource for information about open access, especially concerning federal legislation and OA policy practices.


Legal Issues & Copyright

Click here for the White House mandate on open access to federally-funded research.

Read the text of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2013. (FASTR)

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.  Learn about licenses and author rights.

Subject Guide

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Andy Prock


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.

The SPARC Author Addendum is a free legal instrument that modifies a publisher’s agreement and allows authors to retain key rights to articles (including the right to deposit a copy in an institutional repository).


The Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions was formed to share experiences and information between universities who have adopted open access policies with those who are considering doing so.