Open Access (OA) is about making scholarly publications freely available to everyone.
In today's world, we can access information immediately, from breaking news and celebrity gossip to book reviews and blog posts. The OA movement wants to make scholarly publications available to anyone who has an Internet connection and the ability to search and read the material--not just those who can afford to subscribe to a journal.
Open access works get more citations.
Many research studies have identified a citation advantage for open access articles, although this varies by discipline. SPARC Europe curates a bibliography of studies documenting the impact of OA on scholarly citations. A 2016 analysis of 70 studies found that 46 show a citation advantage for OA papers, as shown in the figure to the right.
There is also a citation advantage on Wikipedia for OA articles. A recent study found that OA articles are 47% more likely to be cited than non-OA articles.
Open access works receive greater attention on social media and other media channels, leading to a broader societal impact.
When barriers to access--such as paywalls--are removed, works are more likely to have more widespread societal engagement. Articles that require subscriptions to read lead to a more limited societal impact.
Open access works reach a wider audience, representing groups outside of academia.
Research and scholarship available openly do not limit their readership to those with academic affiliations. New audiences include:
Open Access opens up opportunities for knowledge to be used in new ways, beyond traditional academic research.
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