Why does open access matter?

The traditional publishing model is based on a gift economy. Universities and taxpayers provide funding to researchers to produce research, and authors provide their time to peer-review and their work to publishers free of charge to facilitate the dissemination of their research. There are many costs involved in producing, publishing, providing access and preserving research, and library budgets for purchasing the research to provide access cannot keep up with the ever-increasing costs of publications.

Furthermore, publishers place copyright restrictions on publications as to how the research can be used and shared for teaching, research and learning purposes. The overall result means reduced or no access to research for those who need it the most.