We may distribute flawless copies of our work virtually for free via the Internet with a global audience. By making our work “open access”—digital, online, free of charge, and free from the majority of copyright and license restrictions—we take advantage of this revolutionary possibility. Many writers, musicians, filmmakers, and other creators who depend on royalties are naturally reluctant to provide their authorization because open access is only made possible by the Internet and copyright-holder consent. However, for 350 years, academics have published peer-reviewed journal papers for impact rather than profit, and they are free to agree to open access without suffering a loss in income.
In this succinct introduction, Peter Suber explains what open access is and isn’t, how it helps authors and consumers of research, how we pay for it, how it avoids copyright issues, how it has spread from the margins to the center, and what the future of open access might entail. This book on open access, which distills a decade of Suber’s prominent work and thinking on the subject, is a must-have for researchers, librarians, administrators, funders, publishers, and policymakers.