glossary

Open Access

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The principle that access to the published papers and other results of research, especially publicly-funded research, should be freely available to all. This contrasts with the traditional model where research is published in journals which charge subscription fees to readers. Besides benefits similar to the benefits of open data, proponents suggest that it is immoral to withhold potentially life-saving and valuable research from some readers who may be able to use or build on it. Open-access journals now exist and the interest of research funders is giving them some traction, especially in the sciences.