Open Access

“Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results - to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives” (SPARC).

OA outputs can be delivered through two main, complementary channels: gold road built on OA journals and green road built on OA repositories. Authors or other copyright holders can manifest their adherence to OA by using one of the Creative Commons licenses or other open-content licenses

OA in scholarly publishing (from datasets to digitally native research outputs) has forced all stakeholders in the research life cycle to rethink how they disseminate and consume scholarly information.

A number  of tools for OA, self-archiving policies (see: SHERPA/ROMEO), good practices for OA policies (for the adoption of OA policies see: Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies) and ongoing OA initiatives worldwide (e.g. International OA Week) demonstrate awareness and wide support for OA as a constituent part of Open Science (see: Open Science Taxonomy) at a global level.

According to a joint statement of European Union member states, all European scientific articles should be freely accessible by 2020. For this reason, the European Commission is firmly focused on enforcing the OA requirements of HORIZON 2020 and on the development of new business models for OA publications, making 'Open Data' FAIR and fostering Scientific Integrity through the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP).  

On 4 September 2018, a group of national research funding organizations, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), announced the launch of COAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access (OA) to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles (Science Europe, 2019). The target is: "By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms"

AIMS works on OA issues in many ways:

  • promotes news about OA initiatives around the world;

  • develops and delivers capacity development activities focused on a wide range of OA issues, including scholarly publishing strategies and support services;

  • provides professional assistance and facilitation services to online channels (e.g. AGORA, AGRIS, OKAD, E-LIS) delivering different research outputs freely.

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons