The Bethesda Statement (2003) defines open access, where "The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship as well as
the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use".
Peter Suber (2010) describes, "Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions". Suber also states that open access contents are not restricted only to peer-reviewed research articles, they can be in any formats from texts and data to software, audio, video, and multi-media.
Publications can be made open access in different ways:
Gold Open Access - publishing your output in a fully open access journal that does not charge subscription fees for reading access. Gold open access journals usually charge a publication fee, also known as an Article Processing Charge (APC).
Green Open Access - publish in a closed access journal and then archive a version of your publication by depositing it in a trusted open access repository, such as the university's repository.
Hybrid Open Access - publish in a traditional subscription journal but allows authors to pay an extra fee(APC) to make their article OA.
The following graphic highlights the numerous benefits of making your work Open Access. [CC-BY Danny Kingsley & Sarah Brown]