Open Access can be defined as the practice of providing unrestricted access to journal articles, books, and other literature via the Internet. These materials are generally made available to researchers and other readers at no cost, free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
“By open access, we mean its immediate, free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software or use them for any other lawful purpose…” - See The Budapest Open Access Initiative
Open Access Publications - Examples
Check out the following links to a few selected 'Open Access' health information and research web sites, resources, publications, and more:
- Bentham Open Access - Over 230 peer-reviewed open access journals covering all major disciplines of science, technology, and more.
- BioMed Central - Publisher of 220 open access, online, peer-reviewed journals spanning all areas of biology and medicine.
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - A directory of a wide range of freely available, online Open Access Journals covering the arts and sciences.
- Encyclopedia of Life - Providing free and 'open access' to knowledge about life on Earth.
- Health Education Assets Library (HEAL) - A digital repository of images, video clips, animations, presentations, and audio files that support health care education.
- OER Commons Textbooks - Information about open textbooks offered through Open Education Commons (OER).
- Project Gutenburg - Offering over 33,000 free eBooks that can be downloaded.
- PubMed - More than 21 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.
- World Digital Library - Providing free and open access to historical documents related to medicine from around the world, coordinated by the Library of Congress & UNESCO.
Also take the time to visit the web sites of these 'Open Access' organizations, e.g. Connexions, Creative Commons, Electronic Information For Libraries (EIFL), Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC),and the UNESCO Global Open Access Portal.
What do you think about the 'Open Access' movement? Have you used any of the Open Access resources listed above?