Open Access Fact Sheet by SPARC

Scholarly resources published in open access are free to all readers and users, and publishers place no financial or copyright barriers between the readers and the articles. However, things are not same on other parts of the scholarly publishing world.

The traditional publishing model provides publisher the copyright of published articles, and the publishers generate revenue to offset publication costs (and to make profit for profit oriented publishers) by limiting access to those article to subscribed readers. While researchers in many countries can access through their institutional subscriptions, a vast majority of interested readers are kept aside by the barrier of costly subscription fee.

The open access model removes this barrier by allowing all interested readers unrestricted access to and reuse of published content. In this approach, publishers charge authors a one-time publication fee to defray publication and related expenses instead of charging readers subscription fee. Authors retain copyright of their articles, and allow publishers to publish and all readers to read, download, reprint and redistribute content of those articles without prior permission.