"For scholarly work Open Access means making peer reviewed scholarly manuscripts freely available via the Internet, permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any lawful purpose, without financial, legal or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself
While the majority of journals are now published online (many exclusively), often they are only available to people who pay a subscription or who are members of an institution who pays a subscription. Open access uses digital technology to make research findings widely available. Researchers can make their work open access by one of two ways; by depositing an open access copy of their published work in a repository or by publishing in a journal that makes the work open access."
Articles lodged in a repository are often called 'green' open access and are distinguished from 'gold' open access papers where an author may have paid an article processing charge (APC) to publish the final version of record with a publisher.
Research funders are increasingly mandating that publications from research be made available open access.
It can be difficult to find content that is open access. Whole journal titles may be open access, or journals may have hybrid access to both subscribed and open access articles.