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Open access is the “free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment” (SPARC). Open access can be attained via two primary paths: publishing in an open access journal (Gold) or retaining author’s copyright and posting a copy of the article to an institutional repository or subject repository (Green).
Benefits of open access include:
Greater visibility and retrievability of research
Increased impact of scholarship
Boosts the likelihood that results will be taken up, extended, applied, and cited
Increased readership outside the academy, including policy-makers, journalists, non-profits, the general public, etc.