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Open Access

This guide presents information about Open Access resources, including scholarly literature, multimedia, computer software, technicalities and challenges surrounding Open Access, and how Open Access resources will help your research

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What is Open Access?

"Open access is a broad international movement that seeks to grant free and open online access to academic information, such as publications and data. A publication is defined 'open access' when there are no financial, legal or technical barriers to accessing it - that is to say when anyone can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search for and search within the information, or use it in education or in any other way within the legal agreements."

In short, Open Access (OA) literature is academic information that is available legally online for free.

Benefits of OA publishing include:

  • increased visibility of research: OA materials are more easily accessed by:
    • researchers from developing nations
    • practitioners in your field
    • the general public
    • researchers at smaller institutions, or those unaffiliated with an institution
  • potential for increased citations of OA materials
  • compliance with grant requirements

This video was produced by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and McGill University Library.
Licence by Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0.