The open access (OA) movement emerged as an alternative to the traditional publishing model, which works on a subscription basis. That is, full-text access is only granted to those individuals who are affiliated with an institution that has elected to pay the subscription fee.
The ultimate goal of OA is published literature that is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Though the end point is the same, there are a number of routes a researcher can take to get there:
Navigating the world of OA publishing can seem overly complicated, and may not be on the top of your list of priorities when choosing where to publish. But there are many benefits to publishing your work OA, so it is recommended that you include a quick assessment of the OA policy of each journal when finalising your publication shortlist. An ideal strategy would include: