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Open Access: What is Open Access?

Discover what open access means and how to find open access research.

What is Open Access?

This guide is aimed at students and anyone looking for an introduction to open access. Researchers and authors can find more detailed information about open access publishing on our open access webpages.

Open access means that something is available freely, with no cost, to anyone with internet access.  The open access logo shows an orange padlock which is unlocked

This is important because it creates more equality in access to information and knowledge. Instead of requiring people to pay or have an institutional subscription in order to access research, open access makes the research freely available to everyone.

You might find open access material available directly via the publisher (sometimes called gold open access) or available through a repository or online archive (sometimes called green open access). Either way, the important thing is that the material will be available for you to access immediately and for free.

Benefits of Open Access

For readers, open access means:

  • access to more research
  • quick and simple access - no need to log in or authenticate
  • research at no cost - no need to pay for access

For authors, open access means:

  • more people will read, cite, and interact with your work
  • more public visibility and impact - anyone will be able to read your research, not only those affiliated to institutions with subscriptions

Open Access at Edinburgh Napier

Open Access Blog

Discover open access news, updates and discussion items on our blog.

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Contact Us

Questions about open access? Send an email to the Repository Team at repository@napier.ac.uk.