What is Open Access?

The advances in technology of the past few decades mean the time and effort to disseminate writing is within the general public's grasp - including universities and libraries. These advances have had a profound effect on the traditional publishing cycle. Recognising these developments, in 2002 & 2003 a group of representatives from a variety of research institutions drafted declarations on what is known as "Open Access".

Open Access emphasizes academia’s contribution to knowledge, and that such knowledge should be as freely available as possible in order to facilitate further scholarly pursuit.

Publishers and universities increasingly recognize open access as a viable mode of disseminating academic research.

What about Peer-Review?

Open Access does not imply the editing and review process has changed from its traditional role. Peer Review is still a vital part of scholarly communication.

Data and Open Access

Surveys have indicated researchers in numerous disciplines perceive access barriers to data necessary to produce new research [1]. However, in this same survey researchers acknowledged they often do not ensure their research data available for others.

Managing and allowing research data to be openly accessible has a number of advantages.

  • Veracity & integrity - Like citation, the transparency of publishing your research data demonstrates the integrity of your research to the scholarly community and allows others to explore alternative directions of research.
  • Visibility - Raised visibility of research increases the possibility of citation.


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[1] Tenopir C, Allard S, Douglass K, Aydinoglu AU, Wu L, Read E, et al. (2011) “Data Sharing by Scientists: Practices and Perceptions.” PLoS ONE 6(6): e21101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021101

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