In this module we have explored the pathways to open, including OA challenges and opportunities and the growth of funder and institution OA mandates and policies.

Key Takeaways

  • Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers.
  • Open access provides greater readership due to open widespread sharing, an increase in citations of the material shared, and it eliminates access barriers based on the time it takes to go through the traditional publication processes.
  • While there are a number of benefits to open access, the challenges, such as the importance of impact metrics in the academy and the offloading of cost to publish to the researcher (i.e. APCs), impact the success of the movement taking a larger hold.
  • Funders (e.g. Tri-Agencies) and institutions (MIT, Harvard) have responded to open access through the development of mandates and policies that encourage and sometimes require researchers to make their research publications openly available.
  • There are a number of inequalities within the open access movement that need to be addressed by the community, including equal participation of research sharing from the Global South and the potential for OA to reinforce a culture of extraction of Indigenous knowledge. The OA movement needs to ensure that it does not replicate the publishing practices of the past.


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