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Open access (also known as open-access publishing and free online scholarship) is an ongoing publication practice which differs in the way traditional methods of publishing papers to the public get submitted, reviewed, authenticated and finally published. It proposes a new business model for academic publishing that enables immediate, worldwide, barrier-free, open access to the full text of research articles for the best interests of the scientific community.
In Open Access publication model neither readers nor a reader's institution are charged for access to articles or other resources. Users are free to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles without requiring a subscription to the journal in which these articles are published.
In this Open Access model, the publication cost should be covered by the author's institution or research funds. These Open Access charges replace subscription charges and allow the publishers to give the published material away for free to all interested online visitors.
For more information about open access, please check e.g.
· Budapest Open Access Initiative
· Wikipedia - Open access
· DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals
· Public Library of Science - Open Access
· BioMed Central - The Open Access Publisher
· Springer - Open Choice
· Oxford Journals - Oxford Open
· Hindawi Publishing - Open Access