Letâ€™s not portray casual sharing as more heroic than it is, though. A network of friends with institutional connections is not a luxury that everyone has. Emailing papers doesnâ€™t fix a system in which the most cutting-edge knowledge is only available to a few people. If anything, casual sharing of limited-access papers only underscores the problem: limiting access to research keeps knowledge away from people without the same connections and privileges.
Open access isn’t explicitly covered in any of the secretive trade negotiations that are currently underway, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA). But that doesn’t mean that they won’t have a negative impact on those seeking to publish or use open access materials.
From scientific research to lawmaking, open access enables participation Open access is the practice of making research available online, for free, ideally under licenses that permit widespread dissemination. This yearâ€™s theme for Open Access Week is â€œopen for collaboration,â€ and that theme hits on whatâ€™s really exciting about open access. Open accessâ€”both in academia and beyondâ€”enables a kind of collaboration that can scale very quickly.