Open Access and Digital Sharing Project

Open Access LogoThe Open Access and Digital Sharing project seeks to advance the ideal that end users on the Internet should be entitled access to academic journals and other publications currently being held hostage behind licensing fees that prevent the majority of the public from engaging in the knowledge and research contained within such publications.

Led by PIJIP Director Michael Carroll, the Open Access and Digital Sharing project seeks to accomplish this task through raising greater awareness of current Open Access journals that provide such freedoms, by educating the greater public on the merits of Open Access, and through critical research and analysis of the current Open Access environment to encourage debate and wider adoption of Open Access within the publishing community and elsewhere. 

Open Access is mainly accomplished through the concept of Digital Sharing. This endeavor focuses on utilizing the public internet as a vast archive and library, sharing information with others in a digital format that will allow the end user to convert it into an appropriate form for consumption. Digital Sharing aims to drive awareness of the falling costs of publication through the Internet, and the opportunity users have of sharing knowledge across cyberspace.


What is Open Access?

Open Access is the act of publishing material in such a way in that there is no cost to the end consumer of the material. This is not a call for completely free information. Instead, the goal of Open Access is to remove the pricing and permission barriers that inhibit the end user by passing the costs to publishers and distributors. 

OA focuses primarily on scholarly articles. Once an author decides to distribute via OA, there are a variety of OA journals and OA archives that can be utilized to share the article with the appropriate audience. Authors do not give up copyright to OA, nor are they asked to release blanket licenses to allow everyone to utilize their work. Instead, OA relies on simple licensing "consent" from the author to allow OA to utilize the article. Once consent is given, OA takes care of the rest. 

OA accomplishes its goal primarily through digital sharing, meaning the online distribution of articles on the public Internet.  

For more information on the foundation and history of Open Access, please visit Peter Suber's Open Access Overview.

Open Access Links