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Open Access & Amherst College


This guide will help you understand open access, the Open Access Resolution at Amherst College, and funding opportunities. Use the menu on the left to help navigate the information.

What is Open Access

Open access (OA) articles, journals, books, and research are available to anyone to read online, free of charge. Martin Paul Eve defines open access as “the removal of price and permissions barriers to scholarly research. Open access means peer-reviewed academic research work that is free to read online and that anybody may redistribute and reuse, with some restrictions” (Open Access and the Humanities). OA scholarship can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection and can be cited or reused according to the Creative Commons (CC) license assigned to the work. 

Why is OA important? According to scholar and OA advocate Peter Suber: 

"OA benefits literally everyone, for the same reasons that research itself benefits literally everyone. OA performs this service by facilitating research and making the results more widely available and useful. It benefits researchers as readers by helping them find and retrieve the information they need, and it benefits researchers as authors by helping them reach readers who can apply, cite, and build on their work. OA benefits nonresearchers by accelerating research and all the goods that depend on research, such as new medicines, useful technologies, solved problems, informed decisions, improved policies, and beautiful understanding."

This short video explains what OA is and why it’s important, particularly to scientific researchers and the dissemination of scientific knowledge.