Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate availability of research, learning materials, and other scholarly work in a digital environment. Open access exists because "research leads to breakthroughs, and communicating the results of research is what allows us to turn breakthroughs into better lives—to provide new treatments for disease, to implement solutions for challenges like global warming, and to build entire industries around what were once just ideas" (SPARC, n.d.).
When you hear the terms Open Educational Resources (OER), Creative Commons, Open Education, and similar terms, these terms all fall under the umbrella of Open Access.
You may decide that open access is the best route for resources used within your classroom or for publishing your own research. Open access:
The following video, Understanding Open Access by Wiley, explains Open Access and its benefits.
Publishing models for Open Access journals and articles:
Gold and Green are the most common publishing models for OA. The following video, "Open Access: What's With All The Colors?" by UMN Libraries, explains additional differences between the two:
The information presented in this guide is intended for information purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.