Open Access Myths – What is the Definition of Free in OA?

Free as a bird, a free meal, free pass, free time…There are numerous syntagma where we can use the word free and one of them is used in terms of Open Access publishing. The explanation behind the troublesome word for some is that Open Access is not free in terms of costs, since there are obvious costs to be covered in order to publish a research, but the free refers to the idea that there are no barriers in accessing the mentioned research and also, it offers free speech.

Many publishers charge their users to access the material from their journals, but advocates of Open Access publishing have realized that in this age, there is no point in stopping people from obtaining information crucial to their growth and deepening of their knowledge. So they have come up with this new model which gives anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet access an opportunity to find and use any published scientific paper.

The contributors of Open Access publishing benefit in many ways from free access to their material. They can themselves work on the promotion of their scientific research and thus increase their impact and visibility. Posting a link of the location of their chapter to their personal pages, blogs or social network profile, they can invite more people to come and read their material without fearing that the users will never get a chance to see the content, let alone share it and make use of it.

In the world where people are looking for easily accessible information, there is no point in charging users for something they are entitled – knowledge.

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2 Responses to Open Access Myths – What is the Definition of Free in OA?

  1. Peter Suber says:

    See “Gratis and libre open access” ( http://goo.gl/SYCh ).

  2. intechweb says:

    Hi mr. Suber,

    Thank you for the link. We read your website often and think you have a great resource for Open Access there. Feel free to visit our blog, as we will update it with fresh news about OA.

    Kind regards

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