Definition of Open Access
The free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of research articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited In simple words Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions . It removes price barriers (subscriptions, licensing fees, pay-per-view fees) and permission barriers. Its policy protects the copy right of the author.
Difference between Accessibility and Availability
The information we do know is out there but remains outside of our practical, infrastructural or legal reach is the barrier of accessibility .What the digital convergence has done is to solve it, by bringing much previously inaccessible information into the public domain. Being widely available is not the same thing as being widely accessible. Locking research works behind pay walls makes them widely inaccessible to anyone without the means and is effectively barred from knowledge. Open Access dissolves this situation by increasing the net amount of information available to us and thus creating a wealth of information.
Necessity of Open Access (Accessibility)
Accessibility of one generation of scientific work for others is quite important. It reduces the cost, and increases the precision and clarity, of the next generation of scientific results. The confirmation of previous results is vital for the advancement of science. If scientists cannot verify prior findings, they are less likely to build upon that work. Open access to the materials behind the lesser-known results led to a more pronounced boost of confidence in those findings. Rather than attempting to replicate results from scratch, having the source materials on hand makes it easier for scientists to build on the original findings.
Economic Advantages of Open Access Models
In what the economists acknowledge is a rough calculation, they believe open accessibility lower the cost per citation by a factor of 10, meaning knowledge spreads among the scientific community much more cheaply than it would otherwise.
Without open access there would be a lot of duplication and a lot of money spent on research already done. That kind of expenditure may work at a company with a product that will be in stores a year from now but research wont have a pay off sometimes for many years and it may never be a monetary one.
Benefits of Open Access
*Is there any benefit to the researcher and, if not, why would anyone do it?
The benefits of open science to the science community receiving the data are obvious. A currency of value to many investigators is the number of times their publications are cited.
Citation counts are often used in research funding, and promotion decisions and have even been assigned a salary-increase dollar value for the scientific contribution of a paper. Boosting citation rate is thus is a potentially important factor for scientific authors. If scientists know having open data leads to more citations, it leads to more open access articles which leads to more citations obviously.