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Open Access: What is Open Access?

Introduction to Open Access Resources and Information

Open Access

Open Access

Image courtesy of distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License

Unless otherwise noted, all content on this guide is used and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Open Access Week @ the University of Lethbridge


OA Week


The University of Lethbridge Library supports the annual Open Access Week. This year the Open Access Week celebration takes place

The theme for 2023 is:
Community over Commercialization
More information about the 2023 Open Access Week events is available here.

Links About Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access:

  • is information that is:
    • Free
    • Unrestricted
    • Online
  • is a movement that wants to increase information access and innovation.
  • usually refers to open access publishing, particularly of scholarly communication in academia.
  • may be an answer to the serials / scholarly communication crisis, which refers to the system where information is locked up in subscription journals and databases whose prices keep rising (as library and university budgets stagnate or decrease) and universities and libraries are forced to pay for the creation of the research as well as to buy it back through subscriptions.
  • is about the democratization of information and knowledge.
  • is carried out largely through digital and institutional repositories, where research (including peer-reviewed journals) is posted online for anyone to access, which are indexed by Google and other search engines increasing visibility and impact of the research.

Open Access 101, from SPARC

What are the Advantages?

The advantages of open access are many:

  • Greater visibility and impact of research
  • Increased opportunity for collaboration
  • Easier access to information for anyone
  • Takes advantage of technology - text mining and the digital environment
  • Better return on investment for research sponsors
  • Encourages and enables greater innovation
  • Faster than traditional publishing
  • Contributes to education's mission of advancing knowledge


Open Access Increases Impact

Data Source:Steve Lawrence, “Online or Invisible?” Nature, 2001, 411 (6837): 521 ; Pre-print available as Open Access.
Image Source: Open Access: A SPARC Brochure. (c) 2004 SPARC Distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution 1.0 License  


For more benefits of open access visit these links:

About the University of Lethbridge Library Research Support Work Group

The Library Research Support Work Group is working collaboratively with The Office of Research and Innovation Services (ORIS) and other campus partners to support and enhance scholarly research activities.

If you have any questions about any of the concepts presented in this guide, please contact your subject librarian.

Subject Guide

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Located at the library entrance.

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Creative Commons License

This guide was created by Marinus Swanepoel and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

It is based on a guide created by Amy Elliott and is used with permission

You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included.  I encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials.