Understandings of open access



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University of Cape Town. OpenUCT

University of Cape Town

How do people outside the university who work in education understand open access? As my daily experiences are skewed towards the open access and open education communities and towards those academics interested in finding out about open access, I was interested to get a broader sense of what educational professionals understand open access to be. When I was asked to give a talk recently to about 30 working professionals, I asked them to each write down what they thought open access is. About two thirds of the group did so, and I read some of their definitions and comments aloud before the talk. What did they say? Certainly open access is associated with content being free, as the majority (but not all) mentioned the word "free" in their definitions. "Access is about being free" to view and free to see, and access is about "not having to pay".