About open access

What do we mean by open access?

For publications

For publications, the Open Access Task Force is using the Budapest Open Access Initiative’s definition of Open Access, and is guided in particular by this: "By "open access" to this literature [peer-reviewed journal articles and preprints], we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited."

For code

For code, the Task Force’s emphasis is on open-source licensing: “An open-source license is a type of license for computer software and other products that allows the source code, blueprint or design to be used, modified and/or shared under defined terms and conditions.” - Wikipedia's entry on Open-Source License

For data

For data, the Task Force’s emphasis is on the FAIR principles:

  • Data should be Findable
  • Data should be Accessible
  • Data should be Interoperable
  • Data should be Re-usable.

And a view that data should be made "freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.” - Wikipedia's entry on Open Data See more at: Force 11's FAIR Principles

For educational materials

For educational materials, the Task Force is emphasizing the aim of OpenCourseWare: “Courses made available online, freely and openly available to anyone, anywhere.” - adapted from Wikipedia's entry on MIT's OpenCourseWare

Shape the future of Open Access

Do you have a suggestion, idea, or question that might improve open access? Share it in our idea bank.

Submit an idea