Open access (OA) means making research publications freely available so anyone can benefit from reading and using research.
Peter Suber (2012) defines, "Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." OA publishing is based on open licenses like Creative Commons licenses, where the author(s) retain copyright and specifies permitted uses that promote access and re-use of scientific and scholarly research.
While the primarily focus of OA has traditionally been to published scholarly journal articles, the open movement also encompasses open data, open educational resources and open science (open research).
The below videos give a basic introduction to open access and highlight some of the reasons why it is important.